Driving Down, Speeding Up


This week, the Washington Post reported that instances of reckless driving have increased substantially across the country since March, when nearly every state implemented a “stay at home” order.

While traffic nationwide is down 41%, automobile crashes are down only 21%, and some of the country’s most congested traffic areas have reported dramatic increases in average speeds. For example, the speed limit on the DMV’s Capital Beltway is 55 mph, but speeds during the pre-pandemic rush hour averaged only 27 mph. Now, Beltway drivers are traveling at an average speed of 70 mph during what used to be rush hour. On one Sunday in May, Maryland state police cited 22 drivers who were traveling at least 25 mph over the Beltway’s 55 mph speed limit. One of those drivers was caught going 136 mph. And in Virginia, unsafe speed has accounted for half of the Commonwealth’s 72 traffic fatalities since March 13.

Public safety experts say the open roads are to blame for the dangerous shift in driver behavior; there is more room to speed, and when drivers see traffic moving faster, they speed up to keep pace.

The attorneys at Regan Zambri Long have devoted their practice to representing injured people, including victims of automobile collisions. If you or someone you know has been injured at the hands of a reckless driver, contact us today for a no-cost consultation. Our office is open remotely during the COVID-19 emergency, and we are here to help.

Emily C. Lagan