Teenagers have limited driving experience and, unfortunately, sometimes they do not make very good decisions while they are behind the wheel. One of the riskiest decisions that a teen can make is driving too fast. Speeding is dangerous for every driver because it increases the chance of losing control of the car; makes the car more difficult to stop; and results in crashes occurring with more force. Unfortunately for young people, speeding is even more risky than for other motorists because high speeds combined with driver inexperience result in many crashes occurring.
Our Buffalo auto accident lawyers know that many teen traffic deaths occur as a direct result of drivers who go too fast. Unfortunately, when teens speed, they endanger their own lives, the lives of all passengers in the car, and the lives of every other pedestrian, bicycle rider or motorist on the road. Crashes with these young drivers are far too common and the Governors’ Highway Safety Association has recently taken a close look at the role of speeding in teen auto accident deaths.
Speeding as a Leading Cause of Teen Auto Accident Deaths
Young teenagers have a greater chance of becoming involved in auto accidents than other motorists and make more insurance claims arising from crashes. Death due to motorcycle accidents is also consistently a top cause of death among young people. Now, the Governors’ Highway Safety Association has demonstrated that a great number of the teen traffic accident deaths happen due to speeding.
According to the GHSA report, as many as 33 percent of all fatal teen car wrecks involve excessive speed. This reflects an increase in the number of speed-related deaths since the year 2000. In 2000, just 30 percent of deadly teen wrecks had a driver who was going too fast for the road.
This percentage increase of speeding-related deaths occurred even as the overall number of fatal teen car wrecks has declined. Improved safety efforts, a stronger focus on drunk driving and anti-texting campaigns have helped to bring the overall death toll down, even as car accidents remain a top cause of fatalities. Yet, amidst this decline in auto accident deaths, teens are speeding and ending up in speed-related crashes now more than ever.
To help save lives and prevent more teens from falling victim, it is important for lawmakers, parents and schools to work together. Lawmakers have helped to do their parts in reducing teen deaths by passing graduated licensing laws in many states that limit night driving for young drivers and that impose restrictions on the number of passengers in cars. The GHSA indicates that most speed-related teen deaths happen at night and with multiple passengers, so these graduated licensing laws can help to reduce speeding accidents. Parents should also talk to their teens and schools should consider providing educational materials about the high risks associated with driving too fast.
If you’ve been injured in Buffalo or the surrounding area, contact the Law Offices of James Morris today for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 800-477-9044.