Striking statistics put more emphasis on the speed epidemic

Striking statistics put more emphasis on the speed epidemic

Road deaths have increased during the pandemic. The latest figures from federal officials show a 10.5% increase in the first quarter of 2021 from the previous year, an increase that comes even as the total number of kilometers driven by vehicles has declined.

Speeding tickets have been identified as the main culprit behind this increase. Motorists have started to accelerate to new levels during the pandemic and have not slowed down even though traffic is approaching pre-pandemic levels.

New data from traffic analytics company Arity puts more emphasis on driver behavior: company says nearly one kilometer in 20 miles today occurs at speeds above 80 mph . Time spent above 80 mph remains around 10% higher than in 2019. Forty-two percent of kilometers driven at speeds above 80 mph occur at night, according to the Arity report, titled “Life In The Fast Lane “, which explores speed. behaviors during the pandemic, broader changes in travel patterns and general travel trends.

The speeding statistics are damning and dovetail with reports from safety advocates and first responders, who have sounded the alarm bells about the increase in speeding tickets, traffic accidents and the increase the number of deaths since the early days of the pandemic.

In an episode of this year’s Shift mobility podcast, Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, noted that the increase in speeding was not only in line with the pandemic, but a drop in traffic controls. .

The consequences became more apparent in July, when NHTSA said about 38,680 people died in traffic crashes in 2020, a 7.2% increase from 2019 and the highest total in 13 years. Based on first quarter estimates, 2021 looks to be worse.

A stark reminder that the pandemic’s death toll includes those who fall victim to America’s merciless and swift roads.

– Pete Bigelow

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