(CBS & KION) -- Even with fewer drivers on the road traffic deaths for all ages went up four point six percent in the first nine months of 2020 compared to the previous year. 28,000 people died in those crashes.
A new report from the governors highway safety association found from 2015 to 2019 nearly 5,000 teen drivers and passengers died in speed related traffic crashes.
The problem is increasing during the pandemic and not just among teens.
"The highways are wide open, uh, local roads are wide open so I can go at higher rates of speed, you know there's something to be said for having traffic on the road it does slow people down," says Pam Fischer with the Governors Highway Safety Association.
New crash tests show even moderate increases in speed can be dangerous.
The Insurance Institute for Highway safety looked at two similar vehicles, one going 40 miles per hour -- the other 56 miles per hour.
AT 40 miles per hour, the area around the driver mostly stays intact… but at the faster speed the impact is much more severe.
"and a likely hood of brain injury, facial fractures and even lower leg injury," says President of IIHS, David Harkey.
IIHS President David Harkey says Americans need to slow down.
"It's not worth saving a few minutes on a trip and adding that increase in risk of a possible injury or the fact that you could avoid the crash altogether if you're driving a little slower and so we certainly need to change our driving habits," says Harkey.
He also says states need to use law enforcement and speed cameras to enforce current speed limits and keep people from driving too fast.