The Iowa State Patrol has issued a warning to the parents of teen drivers that their kids are driving too fast. This in response to a rash of recent cases involving teenagers speeding on Iowa roads, with some driving more than 100 mph. With 57 fatalities and roughly 13,000 crashes involving young, inexperienced drivers last year alone, police are honing in on teen speeding, as well as distracted and impaired driving, to reduce the number of incidences.
A picture is worth a thousand words and the Iowa State patrol is using social media to drive home the point. Recently, they posted pictures to Facebook of two recent stops involving teenage drivers in the Des Moines area pulled over for excessive speeds. One picture shows a 17-year-old stopped for going 100 mph in a 65 zone; the other shows a 16-year-old traveling up to speeds of 104 mph. Both drivers were given citations for roughly $300 apiece and will likely lose their licenses through the Iowa DOT if convicted.
Unfortunately, the speeding epidemic is not limited to Iowa. Traffic deaths have been rising across the country for the last several years and a recent study by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is pointing a finger at speeding as the main culprit for the uptick in traffic fatalities declaring “speed is what’s killing Americans.”
Looking at U.S. passenger vehicle crashes spanning a decade, the NTSB found that speeding was a major factor in over 100,000 deaths, more than a third of all traffic fatalities. The figures are nearly equal to the number of drunk driving fatalities during the same period, underscoring just how dangerous speeding can be.
“Drunk driving and speeding have a lot in common”, the NTSB report highlights. Drunk drivers and speeders both have a higher likelihood of being in a crash resulting in death or serious injury. Speeding or drunk driving not only puts the driver at risk, but also their passengers, other motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians alike.
There is no quick fix to the problem. One of the major recommendations is to make the consequences for speeding similar to that of a DUI for starters. Other remedies range from expanding enforcement tools like speed cameras to overhauling existing speed limits altogether.
Just raising awareness about the dangers of speeding may help to put a dent in the problem, which is where parents of teen drivers come in, especially in light of the recent stops by the Iowa State Patrol. Helping kids understand how distracted driving, impaired driving and speeding are all risky behaviors behind the wheel may save lives.
If you or a family member is injured in an Iowa car accident, contact Des Moines personal injury attorney John T. Hemminger for help today at 515-283-2116.
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