New Study Finds Speeding an Increasing Factor in Fatal Teen Driving Accidents


August 20, 2013

While most adults recognize that teen drivers are the most likely age group to be involved in a deadly collision, a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) provides some insight for parents in terms of risk factors and preventive measures to keep teenager drivers safe.  The study found that excessive speed is a major factor in many serious teen driving accidents.

According to the GHSA report speeding was a factor in a third (19,500) of all fatal collisions involving teen drivers.  This trend showed an increase of three percent from a decade earlier.  This increase is notable because overall there was a dramatic decrease in the number of fatal teen collisions during the same period.  This means that a key strategy for making teen drivers and others with whom they share the road safe is to reduce teen speeding.

The report also provided insight into how to approach reducing the tendency of teen drivers to violate the speed limit.  The findings of the study revealed that teen drivers were much more likely to travel at an unsafe speed when they were driving at night with other teenagers in the vehicle.  When accidents involving 16-year-old drivers were considered, almost half of all accidents with three or more passengers in the vehicle were speed-related crashes.

The researchers suggest that the study strongly supports wider use by states of graduated driver’s license programs that limit the ability of newly licensed teen drivers to transport other teens and that restrict the ability of teens to drive during nighttime hours.  Georgia law currently imposes both types of restrictions on teen drivers with a provisional driver’s license.  Teenagers who have not yet received an unrestricted driver’s license may not drive between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m.  New teen drivers with a restricted license also may not transport other teen passengers for the first six months and only one passenger during the second six months.

The GHSA speculates in its report that part of the problem is that speeding often is regarded as an accepted practice unlike DUI.  The traffic safety agency emphasizes in the report that parents can play a significant role by discouraging speeding and making clear that it is an unacceptable driving practice like alcohol-impaired driving.  The organization also suggests a number of other strategies for reducing the risk of teens will be involved in fatal collisions:

  • Make it clear that violation of nighttime or passenger restrictions will not be tolerated
  • Explore incentive-based insurance programs that electronically monitor driving behavior
  • Consider safety ratings when purchasing a vehicle that your teen will drive
  •  Avoid granting primary access to a vehicle during a teen’s first year driving

Our attorneys at Montlick and Associates are committed to public awareness regarding vehicle safety that makes our roads safer for teens and those with whom they share the road.  If your teen has been injured in a car accident or you have suffered injury at the hands of a teen driver, our Atlanta auto accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation.  We serve clients throughout all of Georgia, the Southeast and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state of Georgia. 

No matter where you are located our Atlanta personal injury attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333).  You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

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