In recent years, the dynamics of roadways have undergone a noticeable transformation. This shift occured during COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting lockdowns and restrictions.
Reckless driving habits such as speeding have become more troublesome, with an increase in drivers disregarding limits and taking greater risks.
Increases in speeding
Speeding has become more prevalent since 2019. Researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety link this change to factors associated with the pandemic and alterations to daily routines. With fewer cars on the road during lockdowns, some drivers responded to reduced traffic by increasing their travel speeds.
Remote work and social restrictions may have contributed to a sense of anonymity. The pandemic also led to less enforcement on the road, emboldening some drivers to make riskier choices.
This ongoing surge in speeding has had serious consequences, resulting in an increase in fatal accidents. Furthermore, these trends have continued, even as traffic levels have returned to normal. The number of deaths related to speeding increased by 5% in 2021.
Consequences of speeding
Speeding is dangerous because it not only jeopardizes the safety of the person behind the wheel but also poses a significant risk to all other road users. When a driver exceeds the speed limit or travels too fast for road conditions, they are less able to react to unexpected situations. Sudden stops or obstacles in the road can lead to collisions that result in serious injuries.
Speeding can diminish the effectiveness of certain safety features, such as seatbelts and airbags. Furthermore, speeding tends to cause more severe crashes, often resulting in higher economic costs for everyone due to property damage, medical bills and increased fuel consumption.
Addressing the issue of speeding can help safeguard the lives and well-being of all those who share the road.