According to a recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), teen drivers are more likely than ever to be involved in speed-related car accidents. The GHSA reviewed crash data from 2015-2019 and found that an alarming 43 percent of all fatal teen car crashes were related to speeding. But why are teens so prone to speeding? We take a closer look at the issue and examine what steps you should take if your teen is involved in a fatal speeding accident.
Reasons Why Teen Drivers Speed
Speeding is a dangerous behavior that is more common among teens than adults due to several factors. Some of the most common reasons that a teen may speed are:
- Pressure from friends. Peer pressure often plays a significant role, as teens are more likely to speed when they are with their friends or when they see other teens driving recklessly.
- Feeling invincible. Teens may also feel invincible behind the wheel and lack an understanding of how quickly things can go wrong if they don't follow traffic regulations. Additionally, some teens may not realize that even small increases in speed can cause serious, often fatal, accidents.
- Risky behavior. Not only is speeding dangerous, but so are other types of risky driving behaviors, such as tailgating, weaving through traffic, and running red lights. These behaviors all increase the chances of being involved in a speed-related crash and can lead to dangerous situations on the road resulting in serious injury or even death.
- Distracted driving. Distracted driving is also a major contributor to teenage speed-related crashes in Tennessee. Teens are more prone than adults to use their phones while behind the wheel, and research shows that this increases their risk of being involved in an accident by up to three times.
- Lack of experience and knowledge. Teen drivers may not fully understand the risks associated with speeding, or they may become bored while behind the wheel and think that speeding is an acceptable way to pass the time on long drives. Unfortunately, this type of behavior can have severe consequences as it dramatically increases the chances of being involved in a crash due to loss of control or poor reaction time when faced with unexpected hazards on the road.
Tips for Preventing Teen Speeding
It’s important for parents of teen drivers to set rules and expectations regarding safe driving practices. Some tips to consider that can help prevent your teen from speeding are:
- Have conversations with your teen about the dangers of speeding and ensure they understand the consequences they could face if caught breaking traffic laws.
- Establish specific rules regarding who is allowed in your teen's vehicle and when it can be used. This will help reduce peer pressure and decrease the likelihood of reckless driving behaviors. Each passenger present in the vehicle increases the risk of a fatal accident.
- Setting clear boundaries for your own driving habits is one way to set an example for your teen driver; lead by example and always adhere to posted speed limits yourself.
What to Do if Your Teen Is Involved in a Speeding Accident
No matter how carefully you talk with your teen about following traffic laws, there is still a chance they will be involved in an accident due to speeding or another type of reckless behavior on the road. In this case, certain steps can help protect your teen’s legal rights, such as remaining calm and contacting a lawyer immediately. Legal representation can help protect you and your child from the potential legal ramifications of their accident.
If a teen driver was speeding and caused the accident and associated injuries or death, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages or loss. This may include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Out-of-pocket expenses
Contact Our Tennessee Car Accident Attorneys
If your teen driver was in a Tennessee speeding accident or you suffered injuries due to a teen driver, contact GriffithLaw today. To schedule a no-obligation consultation with our experienced lawyers, contact us online or call us at 615-807-7900. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you are not required to pay any upfront costs to pursue a claim. There is no fee if there is no recovery!