Speeding is undeniably dangerous behavior, and the chances of a crash significantly increase if you drive over the limit or too fast for road conditions. Any driver who speeds has to cope with a car that takes longer to stop due to added momentum and with a vehicle that is more likely to spin out of control. Speeding cars are also more likely to roll over when going around curves and to collide with more force, causing deadly injuries. All of this means that speeding causes a large percent of car accident deaths.
Unfortunately, our Chicago accident lawyers know that there is one group who is particularly at risk of being hurt in speeding accidents: teen drivers. Young drivers who have minimal driving experience are generally least capable of driving a high-speed vehicle safely. This means that these teens are more likely to be killed if they choose to drive their cars too fast.
GHSA Takes a Look at Teen Speeding
Recognizing the problems of teenagers who speed, the Governors' Highway Safety Association recently published a comprehensive report about the speeding risk for teen drivers. This report revealed that the percentage of teen accident fatalities that involve speed has gone up from the year 2000 to present. In 2000, for example, around 30 percent of fatal teen car wrecks involved drivers traveling too fast. Today, about 33 percent of teen car wrecks that lead to death involve speeding.
This increase comes during a time when teen car accident deaths are on the decline. While car wrecks remain a top cause of death for young people, the overall number of fatal auto wrecks involving teen drivers has gone down over the past decade due to improved safety regulations and important public education campaigns. Yet, at the same time when the overall death toll has decreased for young people, the percentage of accidents caused by speeding has gone up.
Since about 33 percent of all car accident fatalities involving teens occur due to speeding, this means there are thousands of teenagers dying each year because they drive or travel in cars that go too fast. This is a tragedy, especially because these deaths are preventable. Graduated licensing laws restricting night driving and traveling with fewer passengers in the car are ways to help prevent these accidents. The GHSA has indicated that more speed-related deaths happen at night and when teens travel with lots of friends in the car.
Parents also play a very important role in encouraging teens to make smart driving choices, including driving the speed limit. Parents should model good behavior for their children, avoiding going much over the speed limit with kids in the car. Parents should also talk to their teens about the high risks associated with driving too fast and should set clear rules and guidelines regarding obeying the speed limit. For some parents and kids, a written driving agreement works best in order to ensure that kids know what is expected of them and listen to the rules.
If you've been hurt in a traffic accident, contact Chicago personal injury attorneys at Coplan & Crane at (800) 394-6002 for a free case evaluation.