The significant role speeding plays in teen driver deaths, has been examined in a new report.

Teens and Speeding: Breaking the Deadly Cycle, released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) in partnership with Ford Motor Company Fund, found that from 2015 to 2019, teen drivers and passengers (16-19 years of age) accounted for a greater proportion of speeding-related fatalities (43 percent) than all other age groups (30 percent).

During this five-year period, 4,930 teen drivers and passengers died in speeding-related crashes.

The new analysis also sheds new light on what is known about speeding-related fatal crashes involving teens – including the driver is more likely to be male, have run off the road or rolled the vehicle, and be unbuckled.

The report includes data through 2019, but GHSA says the new analysis is “timely” as overall traffic crashes have spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic and speeding on less-crowded than normal roadways is cited by states as a major factor in the surge in motor vehicle 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.”

The report can be read online.