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Ford, GHSA Report: Speeding Key in Teen Driving Deaths

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A slide from the Ford Fund, GHSA study of speeding as a cause in teen driving deaths
Ford, GHSA study shows speeding a big factor in teen driving deaths
Photo: Ford

The Governors Highway Safety Association and Ford Motor Company Fund released a report in January showing just how much of an impact speeding has on teen driving safety. With Teens and Speeding: Breaking the Deadly Cycle, Ford Fund and GHSA find that 4,930 teen drivers died between 2015-19 in crashes where speed was a factor.

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According to the report, speed was a significant factor in 43 percent of deaths among drivers and passengers aged 13-19 over that span. That’s significantly greater than the percentage among drivers and passengers aged 20 and above. From 2015-19, speed only factored into 30 percent of traffic fatalities among non-teenaged drivers and passengers.  

Teen driving deaths on the rise despite COVID-19

Ford notes that the findings come at a time where teen driving deaths are on the rise. Per GHSA, 11,260 people died on the road in the third quarter of 2020, up 13.1 percent from Q3 2019. GHSA suggests that a lack of traffic due to COVID-19 has led to more speeding. States link this to the uptick in teen driving deaths.

“Our country has a speeding problem that has only worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins. “Thousands of people die needlessly on our roads because some drivers mistakenly think less traffic means they can speed and nothing bad will happen. The data tell 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.” 

GHSA is taking steps to address this issue by hosting a webinar on Feb. 4 focusing on the issue of teen speeding. The panel discussion includes GHSA Senior Director of External Engagement Pam Shadel Fischer as well as safe driving advocates.

Outside of the study on teen speeding deaths, Ford Fund and GHSA have been partners for almost 20 years. GHSA has helped support efforts like the Ford Driving Skills for Life program, which has reached more than 1.25 million teen drivers since 2003.

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