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Speeding among teen drivers a serious concern: GHSA report

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Washington — Between 2015 and 2019, speeding was responsible for 43% of the 4,930 roadway deaths involving teen drivers and passengers. That’s according to a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association.

In contrast, 30% of fatalities among drivers and passengers 20 and older were speeding-related, researchers found, using data from the Fatality Analysis Report System.

Although the data predates the COVID-19 pandemic, GHSA said the findings are concerning because of a rise in overall traffic crashes, despite roads being less crowded largely because of stay-at-home directives and quarantines. According to a Jan. 13 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 11,260 people were killed on U.S. roadways between July and September last year – a 13.1% increase compared with the same time in 2019.

“Our country has a speeding problem that has only worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic,” GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins said in a Jan. 26 press release announcing the release of the association’s report. “The data tell us that teen drivers are the most likely to be tempted to speed, so the need to address this issue is more critical than ever given traffic death trends during the pandemic.”

 

Recommendations from GHSA to help states, territories and their residents curb speeding among teen drivers include:

  • Educate elected officials, the media and key influencers about speeding among teen drivers.
  • Promote state adoption of national driver training curricula, and provide resources and programs that build on driving education and training for teens.
  • Advocate graduated driver licensing laws by promoting its effectiveness in reducing teen crash risk, and raise awareness of the benefits of restricting late-night driving and driving with passengers.

Parents of teen drivers can find a variety of helpful resources at DriveitHome, a National Safety Council program.

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