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Teen Drivers and Speeding

A Crucial Driving Safety Risk That’s Being Overlooked

Recently, distracted driving and driving under the influence have been the focus of many conversations that revolve around teen driving. More often than not, statistics about these dangerous habits of teen drivers are at the forefront of many news stories and campaigns to keep young adults safe on the road. Speeding, however, is another important issue surrounding the topic of safety of which parents of teen drivers should be concerned.

Speeding Can Be Deadly for Teen Drivers

Although driving under the influence and being distracted behind the wheel make up a large number of accidents, sometimes fatal, involving teenagers, speeding accounts for almost 35 percent of those occurrences. This is a substantial jump from just four years ago. These staggering statistics bring to light the sometimes ignored dangers of speeding for teen drivers.

One of the reasons for a lack of attention to this important issue is that speeding is a behavior that is deeply ingrained into American culture regardless of a driver’s age. A recent survey by the Traffic Safety Culture Index revealed that although almost 65 percent of drivers consider speeding a residential streets “unacceptable,” 47 percent of them have done this in the past month.

How to Prevent Teen Drivers from Speeding

The key to preventing teen drivers from speeding is to put the same amount of awareness, education and stress onto the dangers of this risky driving habit as is put on others. Parents and law enforcement officers talk to teens about the fatal consequences of driving under the influence and being distracted behind the wheel constantly. The extreme risks taken by speeding, however, are rarely touched upon.

Aside from educating teens on these dangers, it is important to enforce the consequences of these behaviors as well. Law officials should strictly enforce speed limits as well as tighten restrictions on graduated drivers. Also, parents should be clear about household rules for teen drivers, making sure to take privileges away when those rules are not obeyed.

According to a recent report, speeding accounts for half of fatal accidents that involved 16-year-old drivers. Although driving while distracted and/or under the influence are important issues to address with teens, speeding is something that should not be overlooked. With teen driving accidents on the rise, it is more important than ever to stress the many dangers of the road with young adults to help save lives.

*Photo Courtesy of LifeSupercharger via Creative Commons License