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Hamilton County sheriff: Teen drivers need to slow down in rural areas

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office is reminding teens to be cautious while driving in rural areas. Summer break is starting for many schools, so more young drivers will be out. The sheriff wants everyone to keep three things to keep in mind.

The sheriff says slow down, watch your following distance and remove distractions.

In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says nationwide almost 2,400 teens were killed and 258,000 were injured in car crashes.

Sheriff Dennis Quakenbush says to take extra time at each intersection in rural areas. It’s also important to pay attention to speed. Quakenbush says more speed means more energy which leads to more damage in a crash. Cellphones need to stay out of sight and the radio volume needs to stay low. Seatbelts must be worn as well.

The sheriff’s office is keeping an eye on intersections where they see a lot of crashes, like US 31 and 236th street, which will be getting major safety renovations. Some areas that aren’t as visible can be deadly.

“Sight distance can be a problem, even with just hills and grades, but even with crops in the field,” Hamilton County Sheriff Dennis Quakenbush said. “It makes it more difficult to see so allow extra time at those intersections. Maybe roll your window down and listen as well as looking for cars that may be coming in the other direction.”

At the beginning of May, two teens died in a crash at 281st Street and Lacy Road near Arcadia. Investigators believe the teen’s car was T-boned by another car. It’s not clear which direction the cars were driving. The crash is still under investigation and the sheriff’s office says the report should be released soon.

Non-rural areas in the county are also being studied for improvements. They’re focusing on all major intersections on 146th street, like Gray Road, Carey Road and Hazel Dell Parkway.

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