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Study: Speeding an increasing factor in teen driving fatalities

Over the past several years much attention has been given to the dangers associated with distracted driving among teenagers. And while distracted driving can certainly lead to fatal accidents, there is concern that attention given to preventing distracted driving is overshadowing the dangers associated with speeding.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, the role of speeding in teen driving fatalities has increased over the past decade. The report, which was funded by State Farm, found that speed was a factor in 30 percent of fatal teen crashes in 2000. By 2011, the speed playing a factor in fatal crashed increased to 33 percent of all teen driving fatalities.

Susan Ferguson, a highway safety consultant who authored the report, said speeding must also be addressed in order to reduce the number of teen driving accidents. The focus cannot solely be on distracted driving and drunk driving.

In looking at the issue, Peter Kissinger, the CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, said speeding is ingrained in American Culture. For example, even though 63 percent of those asked said that speeding in residential areas is unacceptable, 47 percent reported still doing it within the past month.

Speeding is also dangerous for any driver, regardless of age. However, the report found male teens driving at night with other teens in the car is the most common speeding scenario among teenagers.

The report encourages police to really crackdown on following speeding laws. Additionally, parents are encouraged to not buy a teen their own car right away. This is due to the fact that teens are more likely to speed when they are driving their own car as opposed to the family car.


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