Speeding Continues to Cause Serious Car Accidents
Experts say reckless driving may be the "new normal."
Rush hour has always been a difficult time to be on the road. Oftentimes, the streets are crowded and the pace is sluggish. Unfortunately, according to new research, the situation has worsened since the COVID-19 pandemic started.
For rush-hour drivers, the risk of being involved in a car accident is greater now due to an increase in speeding, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Fatal car accidents are on the rise.
Deadly crashes and COVID-19 are linked because various studies demonstrate how negligent motorists let their good driving behavior slip when quarantine reduced the number of vehicles on the road. For example, in 2020, there was a 17 percent increase in speeding-related fatalities and the rate went up another 5 percent in 2021. That year, nearly 43,000 people died on U.S. roadways.
The IIHS study looks more closely at how this has affected drivers and whether people's good driving habits have returned. To do that, the group dug deep into speed data from Virginia to get an idea of what is happening on a larger scale.
There was hope that drivers would be more careful behind the wheel as the pandemic subsided and life returned to normal. But unfortunately, it does not seem like this has happened in 2022. Instead, data suggests speed may push the death rate even further.
Rush hour speeding has become a big problem.
IIHS researchers discovered that the chances a driver was going 10 mph over the speed limit rose significantly during the pandemic. This reckless trend was particularly pronounced during the busiest commuting times - rush hours. There are two "rush hours" each day - and they both last a lot longer than a single hour. Typically, rush hours are 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The study found that speeding was up by:
- 43 percent during morning rush hour.
- 63 percent during evening rush hour.
Speeding is dangerous because it increases the risk that a driver will lose control of their vehicle. It is also true that the faster a vehicle is traveling at impact, the greater the damage. As a result, speeding increases the risk of fatal accidents and severe injuries.
Far too many drivers speed in Ohio.
Speeding has been an ongoing issue in Ohio - even before the pandemic.
From 2018 to 2020 (before COVID-19), there were more than 91,000 car accidents involving unsafe speeds in the state, Ohio State Highway Patrol says. Meanwhile, 220,000 speeding citations for drivers going 20 mph or more over the posted speed limit were issued over the same period.
Things do not seem to have calmed down. As of this writing, there have been more than 14,700 speed-related crashes in Ohio this year. In addition, Columbiana County and Jefferson County have experienced more than 100 speeding accidents each in 2022.
Just like it was for Virginia, Ohio also sees the most speed-related accidents during rush hours, state data shows. The days of the week that have seen the most speeding crashes this year are Thursday, Friday, and Sunday.
Crash victims can turn to Recht Law Offices.
In general, speeding is a choice, which means speed-related accidents are almost always avoidable. Drivers who choose to go faster than conditions safely allow are negligent and must be held accountable for the pain and suffering they cause.
At Recht Law Offices, our car accident lawyers pursue maximum compensation for crash victims.
If you were injured in an accident, get answers to your questions during a free case consultation with our law firm. A member of our legal team is available to hear from you day or night. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.