There’s an epidemic of speeding-related deaths in the United States, and it’s hitting teen drivers and their passengers the hardest, a new report shows.
A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association analyzed crash data from a recent five-year period and found that during that time period, teenage drivers and their passengers accounted for 43 percent of speeding-related deaths. A total of 4,930 teen drivers and passengers in their vehicles died in speeding-related crashes during this timeframe.
These shocking numbers speak to a number of issues with how teens are taught to drive, as well as the example other drivers are setting for them.
Reasons teen drivers are at a higher risk
There are a number of factors that make teen drivers so dangerous or more likely to hurt themselves or others in a crash. These factors include:
- Teen drivers have less Inexperience – While all drivers are required to learn how to operate a vehicle to obtain their license, experience sharpens this skillset and makes drivers less likely to be involved in an accident. Because teen drivers will not have as much experience behind the wheel, they are more likely to make mistakes.
- Teen drivers are more likely to speed – Whether it’s due to youthful arrogance and the feeling of invincibility, inexperience, or wanting to show off to their peers, teen drivers are much more likely to speed than other age groups. The effect of this is two-fold: First, a speeding driver has less margin for error if they make a mistake, increasing the chance of a crash occurring. Second, the faster a car is moving leading up to a crash, the greater the impact force on the vehicles and people involved in the crash. More impact force puts more strain on crash victims’ bodies, leading to more extensive and costly injuries and more deaths.
- Teen drivers are less likely to wear their seatbelts – Many teenagers feel like an accident can’t or won’t happen to them, making them more likely to engage in risky driving behavior. A teen driver or passenger who isn’t wearing their seatbelt is more likely to sustain a serious injury or be ejected from their vehicle during a crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 47 percent of passenger vehicle occupants who died in traffic accidents during a recent year were not wearing a seatbelt.
- Teen drivers are more likely to drink and/or use drugs before driving – Another dangerous driving behavior that’s sadly common among teenage drivers is a greater propensity to drink or use drugs before driving. This makes teen drivers less aware of the road around them and makes them more prone to speeding and other dangerous driving behaviors.
Need a Car Accident Lawyer? KRW Can Help
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, the San Antonio car accident lawyers at Ketterman, Rowland & Westlund can help you seek justice. We can investigate your accident and uncover evidence if speeding was involved. Our San Antonio personal injury lawyers focus on communication throughout your case and will keep you informed about it at all times. We will help you pursue compensation for medical bills, damage to your vehicle, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our consultations are free. Call us at (855) 569-7767 or reach out to our car crash lawyers online to get started on your claim.
Douglas D. Ketterman is the originator and founder of Ketterman, Rowland & Westlund where he currently serves as President and Managing Shareholder. Douglas has extensive experience in handling all types of civil litigation. He graduated with honors from St. Mary’s School of Law in 1989 and has been Board Certified as a Specialist in Personal Injury Trial Law since 1998 by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.