Speeding on roads all across the country has become a serious problem during the COVID-19 pandemic. One might think that because most of the country is in lockdown mode that there wouldn’t be many problems on the roads. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth, as many police departments are seeing excessive speeds, some reaching triple digits, and more serious accidents. Why? With less traffic and congestion, the roads are wide open for drivers to put the pedal to the metal.
Triple-digit speeding tickets jump
Tickets issued by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) for triple-digit speeding have increased by 87 percent compared to the same time last year. Last year, the CHP issued 1,335 tickets for speeding 100 MPH or more. This year, for the same period, the CHP issued 2,493 of the same citations. This increase directly correlates with a 35-percent decrease in traffic volume across the state, opening up the highways for all sorts of careless driving.
Reckless driving has increased across the country
Reckless driving has become a serious problem across the country since the pandemic led to lockdowns in multiple states. Open roads, excessive speeds, and other reckless driving habits have led to an increase in crash fatality rates, according to the National Safety Council (NSC).
When compared to data from March 2019, crash death rates across the country increased by 14 percent in March 2020. The study, released by the NSC, measures deaths on the roads per 100 million miles driven. These numbers go against the trend of declining deaths caused by crashes over the past two years. Ken Kolosh, the NSC Director of Statistical Reporting and Estimating, said the following:
“Per mile traveled, our roads are less safe than they were prior to COVID-19. A big part of this is likely an increase in risky driving during the COVID-19 crisis. Some drivers are seeing the open roads as an opportunity to speed and engage in other risky driving behavior.”
Why is reckless driving increasing?
It seems like this would be a pretty straightforward answer, but it’s actually multipronged. Aside from there being less traffic and congestion on the roads, reckless driving has increased for many reasons. These include disobeying traffic signals (stop signs and red lights), failing to yield, making illegal turns, and more. As Executive Director of the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA), Jonathan Adkins, told Forbes:
“While COVID-19 is clearly our national priority, our traffic safety laws cannot be ignored. Law enforcement officials have the same mission as health care providers — to save lives. If you must drive, buckle up, follow the posted speed limit and look out for pedestrians and bicyclists. Emergency rooms in many areas of the country are at capacity, and the last thing they need is an additional strain from traffic crash victims.”
The GHSA believes that pedestrian and bicycle traffic has increased exponentially during the pandemic, which can also lead to an increase in serious accidents.
Were you injured in an accident with a driver traveling at excessive speeds in Arizona? If so, it’s important that you discuss your case with a Phoenix personal injury attorney from Plattner Verderame, P.C. Call our office at 602-266-2002 or complete a contact form on our website to schedule a consultation today. With offices located in Phoenix and Tempe, we can better serve our clients.