A Deadly Pandemic Side Effect – Drivers are Speeding and Crashing

August 10, 2021

As Labor Day weekend approaches and people plan for one last road trip of a summer that has largely been redrawn by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, drivers should keep in mind one of the unpredictable side effects of this incessant virus – people are speeding and crashing on U.S. highways at far higher numbers than previous years.

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported that there was at least 13 percent less traffic on roads across the nation in 2020, which makes sense given pandemic restrictions that kept many people at home.

But accident data shows an increase in speed and an increased number of fatal accidents. Traffic deaths in 2020 increased 7.2 percent to 38,680, which is the highest number of deaths on the nation’s roads since 2007. More often than in previous years, these accidents are listing speed as the primary cause.

In California, for example, the number of speeding tickets for people driving over 100 mph was double that of pre-pandemic levels. In New York State, car accident deaths where the primary cause was found to be speeding increased since the year before the pandemic.

Crash data also shows that along with the increased numbers of speeding drivers, more people are driving under the influence of intoxicating substances, and fewer people using seat belts.

Highway safety experts chalk up the increased recklessness to a combination of factors:

  • The pandemic has reduced traffic so drivers have less fear of accidents.
  • Intoxicating substance use has become more of a problem with lockdowns that have greatly reduced social interaction.
  • Safety features like airbags; anti-lock brakes; and alerts on side-view mirrors to traffic changes in car blind spots have made drivers far more confident about navigating roads, even if they are speeding.

The Media car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C., have a long track record of obtaining successful results for our clients. To speak to a qualified lawyer today, call us at 610-565-3701 or contact us online.

We represent clients in Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Chester County, as well as in the communities of Lansdale, Norristown, West Chester, Malvern, King of Prussia, Wayne, Drexel Hill, Glenside, Phoenixville, Havertown, Media, Upper Darby, Chester, Downingtown, Coatesville, Pottstown, Springfield, North Wales, Marcus Hook, Lansdowne, Ambler, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania.