What Hazardous Driving Behavior is Occurring?
With many states under stay at home orders because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant reduction in the amount of traffic on the roadways. Even though the traffic on the roadways has lessened significantly, accidents are still occurring. Additionally, state highway officials from around the country have been reporting severe spikes in speeding during the pandemic.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, the reduced traffic has resulted in a “significant surge” in the reports of drivers speeding on the roadways. These studies include reports of drivers reaching speeds of 100 miles per hour or more in both major cities and less populated ones around the country. The increase in the amount of speeding is correlated with the decline in the amount of traffic on the roadways. March 2020 was the first time that traffic congestion disappeared from many American roadways. As traffic has declined, the speeds drivers are traveling at have increased. The increase in speeding has been experienced all around the country.
Officials fear the increase in speeding will also increase the number of speed related motor vehicle accidents and deaths. According to the National Safety Council over 9,300 people died in motor vehicle accidents in which speed was a factor. The number of speed related motor vehicle accident deaths had been dropping in recent years, but the preliminary data suggests that the extreme speeding that has been occurring could cause a surge in speed related motor vehicle accident deaths and injuries.
Speeding is always a dangerous driving behavior to engage in, but speeding can be even more dangerous during the pandemic. Hospitals and medical providers across the country have seen a huge increase in the need for medical care because of coronavirus. An increase in the amount of people needing medical care for traffic related injuries could put even more strain on the healthcare system. Drivers need to follow the traffic laws and obey the speed limits. By ensuring we practice safe driving, we can help keep people safe.