Speeding is a common problem in the United States. Arkansas has one of the highest speed limits in the U.S., which reach as high as 75 mph on some roads. Many drivers have a tendency to travel slightly above the posted speed limit. Some drivers travel at dangerous speeds when they are in a hurry to get somewhere or doing it for the thrill of it. Research shows that teen drivers have a greater tendency to speed than drivers from other age groups.
Speeding a leading cause of crashes involving teens
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) recently released a report that delves into the disproportionately high rate of speed-related traffic fatalities involving teens. From 2015-2019 about 43 percent of U.S. traffic fatalities involving teen drivers and passengers were caused by speeding. Only 30 percent of traffic fatalities involving car occupants ages 20 and older were linked to speeding.
Additional data shows that:
- Car accidents are the leading cause of death among U.S. teens (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
- Aside from speeding, other risk factors involving teen drivers and passengers include:
- Lack of driving experience
- Impulse control
- Lack of seat belt use
- The fatal crash rate per mile driven among drivers age 16-17 is three times greater than drivers ages 20 and older.
- The crash rate for drivers age 16-19 is nearly four times greater than drivers age 20 and older. The highest risk is at age 16.
Teen speeding crashes during the COVID-19 pandemic
The GHSA found these statistics concerning, as the overall traffic fatality rate has increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dangerous speeding has become a common occurrence due to the lack of traffic congestion. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in January 2021 that 11,260 traffic fatalities occurred in the U.S. from July to September of 2020. That's an increase of more than 13 percent from the same period in 2019. At the start of the pandemic, some drivers were seen traveling at speeds greater than 100 mph.
In a January press release, GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins expressed serious concern for road safety in the U.S. amid the pandemic.
“Our country has a speeding problem that has only worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Adkins. “The data tells us that teen drivers are the most likely to be tempted to speed, so the need to address this issue is more critical than ever given traffic death trends during the pandemic.”
Addressing dangerous driving culture in the U.S.
Addressing the dangers of speeding is often challenging because it is a part of the driving culture in the U.S. Drivers often view posted speed limits as inconveniences rather than a way to save lives. In 2019, 132 out of 505 traffic fatalities in Arkansas were speed-related. It should be of no surprise that speed is a factor in a large percentage of traffic fatalities. Those who drive too fast often have little time to react to an impending crash. Additionally, the faster drivers travel, the greater the damage will be when a crash occurs.
The Arkansas car accident lawyers at McDaniel Law Firm, PLC often see peoples' lives get changed for the worst because of speeding. We see crash victims spend several months or years in recovery and families mourn the loss of a loved one. Speed-related injuries and deaths are 100 percent preventable. Unfortunately, many drivers don't see it that way. When their reckless actions result in someone's injury or death, our attorneys will be ready to hold them accountable.
Our legal team has fought for injured motorists and their families for more than 40 years. We'll help you recover every dollar you're entitled to in damages. To get started on your free consultation, contact us online or call our Jonesboro law office.