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How to reduce the number of teens killed in speeding accidents?

Teen speeding is a leading cause of fatalitiesSpeeding is the cause of many fatal crashes especially among teenagers. A recent analysis conducted by Richard Retting of Sam Schwartz Consulting for the Governors Highway Safety Associations found that teen drivers and passengers account for a much greater proportion of speeding related fatalities than any other age group.

From 2015 to 2019, 4,930 teen drivers and passengers died in car accidents related to speed. Speed related accidents accounted for 43% of all teen fatal car accidents. As a comparison speed is a factor in 30% of all fatal accidents for people above 20.

Globally, car accidents remain the main cause of fatalities among teens with the 16 year old’s being the most at risk

Most common speed related teen fatal accidents involve an unbuckled male driver who ran off the road or rolled the vehicle. The risk of speed related accident increases exponentially with each additional teen passenger.

Speeding is an issue that is difficult to address because law enforcement agencies do not have enough staff to enforce speed limits on their roads and parents who are supposed to lead by example are often the ones who are making it “normal” to drive above the speed limit.  Automated traffic enforcement is one of the best known methods to deter speeding but many states do not authorize them or restrict their installation to school zones or work zones.

Graduate Driver License is the safest

Driver education is also key in preventing speeding accidents. Multiple studies are trying to evaluate what is the best way to educate new drivers. So far a graduated driving license is recognized as one of the safest approaches to reduce teen accidents. The idea of the GDL is to allow teens to gradually drive in conditions that are more prone to accidents than others. For example, new drivers can’t drive at night or with other teens passengers.

New apps allow parents to monitor their kids while they are driving

Parents are also playing a major role in teen driving education. Despite teaching their kids the safe way to drive, many parents worry that when they are not in the car, their children might not respect the rules. Technologies are now allowing for in-vehicle monitoring.  Several smartphone apps such as life360 allow parents to track location, speed and send text messages to parents when the driver’s speed, accelerate or break too quickly. Automakers like Ford also have a feature called MyKey Technology that allows parents to program the speed limit to 80 mph.

Read the entire report here