All across the country, highway patrolmen are battling a new threat on the roads. Reckless driving is on the rise, despite traffic rates at an all-time low. Those on the road are doing more than pushing the pedal down a little further, too — officers frequently report vehicles at speeds of over 100 mph.

This reckless attitude toward road safety amid a national health crisis has had devastating consequences. Many states are reporting significant increases in fatal crashes during the lockdown.

Exercise proper road safety

In 2018, a National Highway Safety and Traffic Administration (NHTSA) study examined crash data across the country. The NHTSA saw that nearly 30% of all fatal crashes involved a speeding vehicle, making speed the leading factor in traffic fatalities, even over drunk driving.

Similar trends in reckless driving plague Pennsylvania roads. Brad Rudolph of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) said, “We are seeing… a lot more crashes than we would typically see with the [traffic] volumes as low as they are.” Mayor Jim Kenney of Philadelphia pointed to three traffic deaths in the first week of May as completely unacceptable, especially when compared to the three casualties in all of April.

Many states are seeing similar trends. Minnesota traffic rates are down by half, but traffic fatalities have doubled. Michigan saw a 33% increase in crash-related deaths. Ohio police officers issued 93% fewer speeding tickets over the last few weeks, but a 53% increase in citations over 100 mph. In New York, whole communities of reckless drivers attempted the notorious Cannonball Run trek from a garage in the city all the way to the California coast, reportedly breaking previous records by huge margins.

Crash victims can seek legal counsel

Those involved in a motor vehicle crash can contact a local lawyer to assess a potential liability claim. For any crashes involving severe injury or death, an attorney can help navigate insurance forms and negotiate a settlement.