Half of all drivers in New Jersey and around the country are speeding, according to a new report by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, either because those drivers are not aware of how fast they're going or because they simply enjoy traveling at a high rate of speed.

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The study also finds 16 percent of motorists are convinced driving faster than the speed limit is not dangerous for skilled drivers.

"No matter how great a driver you think you are, if you exceed the speed limit, you're asking for trouble," said Zach Hosseini, spokesman for the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety. "A third of fatalities nationwide are chalked up to speeding."

Hosseini said your chances of mitigating danger on the roadways improve if you slow down.

"If you get into a crash at 75 miles an hour, there's nothing in your skill set that's going to stop you from having a bad crash," Hosseini said.

The report also finds four out of every five drivers believe driving near or at the speed limit, as opposed to traveling more slowly, makes it easier to avoid dangerous situations on the road.

"We take a long look at every road, and look at those speed limits to make sure that they're appropriate," Hosseini said. "You can't go wrong with being cautious and obeying the speed limits."

Additionally, the report finds drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 are more apt to speed than any other group, and teenage boys are the most likely to exceed the speed limit.

"We know our younger drivers tend to take more risks and that's why we have programs that reach out to them, to try to give them more experience and teach them what the best practices are," Hosseini said. "Those are our least experienced drivers, and that's why New Jersey, like many other states, has a graduated drivers' licensing program."

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