Street racing is a danger that affects everyone on the road. It is a hazard to the racers, bystanders and other drivers, and teenagers and other young drivers must be warned about this dangerous practice.
Partially aggravated by street racing, the teenage accident rate is four times that of adults.
Car accidents are the leading cause of death of youths aged 16 to 20. Road racing is a small but contributing factor to these numbers.
In 2001, approximately 135 fatal car crashes were believed to be a consequence of illegal street racing. Teenage involvement helps explain why a full 45% of teen car fatalities involve excessive speed.
In 2001, there were 290 street racing cases in California alone. Anti-street racing laws often levy high fines and impounds against racers. Plus, teen spectators are subject to prosecution as well, particularly in the San Diego area.
Street racing is believed to be the reason that racing-friendly vehicles are so often the target of theft. Police also connect street racing to gang activity, with racing teams often involved in petty crime. The average age of gang members is 17 and members are 60 times more likely to be a victim of a homicide.
Most historians believe that street racing began as a response to American Prohibition, during which bootleggers made outrunning the police a regular occurrence. Street racing's modern culture has found its strongest base in Southern California.
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