Officer Shares the Importance of National Teen Driving Awareness Week

October 15th through October 21st marks National Teen Driving Awareness Week and a Massillon Police Sgt. says the reminder is definitely needed.

According to 2008 statistics published by the Ohio Department of Safety, Columbus Public Health and Safe Communities Coalition, of the 1,022 people killed in traffic fatalities, 88 drivers, and 30 passengers were between the ages of 16 and 20.

Of the 107,564 people injured in crashes across the state in 2008, 11,123 drivers and 5,638 were between the ages of 16-20.

When asked why the awareness campaign is necessary, Massillon Police Sgt. Brian Muntean told, “Driving is something most of us do daily, and we become comfortable with it,” he explained. “That can be dangerous without a reminder here and there of the serious dangers.

Sgt. Muntean explained he consistently comes across teen drivers that commit traffic violations or that are involved in traffic crashes.

He noted the inexperience of teens behind the wheel, “The bottom line is: You’re driving a 5,000-pound piece of metal down the road at about 100 feet per second. What you learn in driver’s education isn’t enough to prepare you for that kind of responsibility.” Sgt. Muntean added, “Time behind the wheel and doing so under stressful conditions is of the utmost importance. Experience is everything.”

Sgt. Muntean will join each day this week to share information and input related to the week-long National Teen Driving Safety Awareness campaign.

On Tuesday, October 17th, Sgt. Muntean will discuss the issues of distracted driving and peer passengers.

Michaela Madison Reporting

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