CHICAGO, IL – Speeding on America’s roadways remains a significant problem. Driving at high rates of speed or too fast for conditions is the most prevalent factor that contributes to fatal crashes for drivers of all ages. However, speed-related fatal crashes occur among teenagers at a much higher rate than any other age group.
In a recent study published by the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration (GHSA), 43 percent of fatal car accidents among teenage drivers involved speeding. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teenagers.
Risk Factors for Teen Crashes
GHSA’s study mentions the following risk factors in their study:
- Inexperience driving
- Impulse control
- Lower seat belt use rates than other age groups
Other factors may include:
- Teenage passengers
- Distractions while driving such as texting and driving
- Following too closely
- Drinking and driving
- Driving at night
- Teenage males, who make up 36% of fatal crashes that involve speeding
Young drivers are still learning critical driving skills, at the same they are mentally, physically, and emotionally still developing. Teenagers also lack experience behind the wheel which makes it more difficult for them to assess crash risks like experienced drivers. This can include failure to recognize speed or responding to hazards when they occur.
Teens’ brains differ from those of adults in various ways, which is reported to be related to problems with behavior and emotion control. Adolescent brains aren’t fully developed until your 20’s, particularly the prefrontal cortex where decision-making and judgment are both centered. Teenagers, particularly boys, who tend to have risky behaviors are the most at-risk for fatal crash.
Parents also have a significant influence over their child’s driving behaviors. Teenagers grow up watching and learning from their parents. Parents are their teens’ first driving coach, so it’s important to model safe driving behavior by being consistent and being aware of your surroundings.
Other important takeaways from GHSA’s study:
- Teen drivers have the highest percentage of speeding-related fatal crashes that resulted in roadway departure (71%) or rollover (41%)
- Among all age groups, teen drivers – of both sexes – have the greatest proportion of fatal crashes that involve speeding, with 36% of male and 28% of female teen drivers being involved in these crashes
- More than half of teen speeding-related crashes occurred at night, with 20% happening between midnight and 5 AM
- More than half of teens killed in all crashes were not wearing seatbelts
- The percent of fatal crashes that were speeding-related increased with each passenger in the vehicle
Have You Been Injured in a Car Accident?
If you’ve been in a car accident and were injured in Chicago or Illinois that was caused by someone’s dangerous driving, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced car accident attorneys of Dinizulu Law Group have the experience and resources needed to hold the negligent party accountable. Our office offers free, no obligation consultations for car accident accidents – call us today! Contact us at (312) 384-1920 or visit our website for more information.