dangers of speeding

The Dangers of Teen Speeding

The dangers of teen speeding are real. Speeding increases the distance needed to be able to stop the car while reducing reaction time to avoid a potential collision. In fact, among serious crashes where teen driver error was the cause, 21 percent occurred from going too fast for road conditions. Speeding also increases the likelihood that a crash will result in injury.

According to research conducted at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, not all speed-related teen crashes are due to intentional risk-taking. Instead, most are caused by a lack of driving skills and inexperience. New drivers need to be taught how to manage their speed depending on traffic and road conditions and how to keep a safe distance from other vehicles.

This means teaching teens how to manipulate the brake and accelerator properly to reduce speed. Saying “slow down” during a practice drive will not be helpful. Instead, parents should say, “We’re approaching an intersection, so it’s time to ease up on the gas pedal, which will slow us down.”

Intentional speeding can take different forms, including ones that may not seem so bad. Teens driving 40 mph in a 30 mph zone may think they’re “only” going 10 mph over the posted speed limit. But that “small” increase in speed translates to a 78 percent increase in collision energy – that’s nearly double. As part of supervised driving practice, be sure to cover speed management for various conditions and continue to stress the dangers of speeding to your teens.


Among crashes attributed to a critical teen driver error, 21 percent of serious teen driver crashes were due to driving too fast for road conditions.

More Dangers of Speeding Statistics

  • Speeding-related crashes killed 9,557 people in 2015.

  • In 2011, speeding was a factor in more than half (52 percent) of fatal crashes with a teen behind the wheel, nearly the same percentage as in 2008.

  • Teens are more likely than older drivers to speed and to allow shorter headways (the distance from the front of one vehicle to the front of the next).

  • In 2015, nearly a third (32 percent) of male drivers in the 15- to 20-year-old and 20- to 24-year-old age groups involved in fatal crashes were speeding at the time of the crash, compared to 20 and 18 percent, respectively, for female drivers in the same age groups.

Pick Your Practice

With a couple of clicks, think about what skills you would like to practice first as a learner driver, and we’ll point you to videos and tips on how to practice them. Take this online driving quiz to Pick Your Practice!

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