AKRON, Ohio, May 15, 2012 – Prom and graduation season is underway for hundreds of northeast Ohio high schools. After helping your child pick out the tux or dress, order flowers and arrange dinner reservations, take some time to talk about safe driving.
Summa Health System’s Rebecca Wise, Summit County Safe Communities Grant Coordinator and Safe Teens Coalition Leader – Ohio Chapter, points to several tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on how to be safe when driving to and from big parties that often mark the end of the school year:
- Absolutely no alcohol. Teen drivers are at a greater risk of death in crashes where alcohol was present than everyone else. Both underage drinking and drunk driving are also illegal.
- Always buckle up. Teens buckle up far less frequently than adults do. Seat belts are the best way to protect yourself on the road.
- No talking on the cell phone or texting and driving. Writing or reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. At 55 MPH, that is like driving the length of a football field blindfolded. Leave your phone in your pocket or center console, no call or text is worth a life.
- No more than one passenger in the car at all times. Research has shown that the risk of a fatal crash goes up in direct relation to the number of teenagers in the car.
Distracted driving is a large risk, especially on prom or graduation night. Visit the NHTSA website for more tips and information on safe driving.
According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, there have been nine traffic-related fatalities in Summit County as of the end of April. At the end of April 2011, there were five traffic-related fatalities in the county.
A message from Summa Health System and Summit County Safe Communities.
About Summa Health System
Summa Health System is one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery systems in Ohio. Encompassing a network of hospitals, community health centers, a health plan, a physician-hospital organization, a multi-specialty physician organization, research and multiple foundations, Summa is nationally renowned for excellence in patient care and for exceptional approaches to healthcare delivery. Summa's clinical services are consistently recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (Magnet® status), U.S. News and World Report, Thomson Reuters and The Leapfrog Group. Summa also is a founding partner of the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron. For more information, visit www.summahealth.org or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/summahealth and Twitter at www.twitter.com/summahealth.