Motorists around the United States, including right here in California, have become lead-footed during the pandemic.
According to the Associated Press, the latest data shows that the deadly speeding epidemic that accompanied the coronavirus pandemic is not showing any signs of slowing down.
The latest data shows that the number of highway deaths in 2020 was the greatest in more than a decade even though cars and trucks drove fewer miles during the pandemic. It also shows that people are not slowing down.
Law enforcement officials are worried that even as states have opened up and the American public is attempting to resume life as close to normal as possible, people are still speeding on roadways. Tickets issued by the California Highway Patrol for speeding in excess of 100 mph from January to June were nearly double pre-pandemic levels, and the number of tickets for reckless driving citations grew as well, officials said.
Speeding Has Been Deadly
In New York State, the percentage of fatalities for which speeding was the primary cause and the total number of speeding tickets grew from January through June compared to the year before the pandemic. Officials are also concerned about the rise of speeding and aggressive driving as the nation enters the heart of the vacation travel season and traffic volumes increase on highways.
From New York to California, motorists took advantage of roadways emptied out during the pandemic. In New York City and in Los Angeles, supercars like Ferraris and Lamborghinis blazed down empty streets and continued to do so even after they were cited by officials.
In Southern California, we saw an increase in street racing and so-called sideshows where vehicles illegally block an intersection and perform stunts. These sideshows have even proved fatal striking and killing or injuring onlookers. As a result, traffic deaths nationwide in 2020 grew about 7.2% to 38,680 even though there was a 13.2% reduction in the number of miles traveled, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Last year was the deadliest year on the nation’s highways since 2007, according to data.
Driving with Caution
Under California law, it is illegal to exceed the speed limit or drive at a speed that is unsafe given traffic, roadway, and weather conditions. If you see drivers who are speeding or driving recklessly, report them to law enforcement right away. You could be saving lives including your own and the lives of your loved ones.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by a speeding or negligent driver, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses. An experienced California car accident lawyer will be able to help you better understand your legal rights and options.