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Since the outbreak of COVID-19 we have seen less cars on the roads, naturally. But for those who have taken to the roads and highways, there seems to be a need for speed! Ah yes, the open road where you can really open it up!
The week of April 6, 2020, the Florida Highway Patrol investigated seven fatal crashes in a 24-hour period in Central Florida. Drivers are losing control of the vehicles due to the fact that they simply don’t drive that fast normally. Orange County has had an explosion of drivers moving fast and furiously down its highways collecting 130 speeding citations in the first six days of April, FHP data shows. To put that into perspective, there were only 157 speeding citations for the whole month of April in 2019.
During the month of March, the amount of speeding citations written doubled in Brevard County, and nearly tripled in Osceola County, including one driver who was caught moving at 112 mph in a 65-mph zone on I-4.
Police in Colorado, Indiana, Nebraska and Utah have clocked drivers going more than 100 miles per hour on highways.
In Los Angeles, cars are going as much as 30% faster on some streets, prompting changes to traffic lights and pedestrian walk signals.
In New York City, automated speed cameras issued 24,765 speeding tickets on March 27 — nearly double the number issued daily a month earlier — despite far fewer cars being on the road.
Car crashes and related deaths in Minnesota are more than double what they were at the same time period in previous years, and half of the deaths were due to speeding or careless/negligent driving.
Some states have lower crash rates but more serious crashes. Car crash death rates are on the rise in Massachusetts, and pedestrian deaths are on the rise in Nevada and Rhode Island.
Pedestrian deaths and bicycle accidents are also on the rise. New York reported 80 bicycle injuries citywide between March 9 and March 15, according to the NYPD’s TrafficStat database that’s an increase of 43 percent from the very same week last year. In 2017, Florida lead the nation with 139 bicycle fatalities. What will that stat be when we look back at this during the period of the Coronavirus?