IIHS study suggests pandemic may have made reckless driving the 'new normal.'
Rush hour has always come with a higher risk of car accidents. This year, however, the danger has grown. A new study says that the chance of getting injured in a car accident during rush hour has increased due to more drivers speeding.
Bad driving habits like speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving, and not wearing seatbelts increased nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic. Research suggests that some reckless motorists saw fewer cars on the road and let their good driving habits slip.
There was hope that people's good driving habits would return once the pandemic began to subside. But, so far, that has not happened, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Fatal car accidents involving speed
In Ohio, the speeding situation is grim. Not only did the number of accidents where speed is a factor increase, but they became more deadly, too. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol:
- Statewide, speed has contributed to more than 105,000 car accidents - including 1,120 fatal crashes - since 2019.
- In 2021, there were about 1,000 more speeding car accidents than in 2019.
- The number of high-speed fatal car accidents has increased significantly. There were 294 fatal speed-related crashes in 2019. There were 360 deadly speeding accidents in Ohio in 2021.
- Some roadways that experienced the most speed-related crashes are I-75, I-71, and I-70.
Recently, speeding has been a suspected factor in several Ohio fatal car accidents, including a motorcycle wreck in Parma, a single-car crash in the College Hill neighborhood of Cincinnati, and a five-vehicle accident in Ashland County at US-42 and Route 89.
Rush hour risks
The IIHS study focuses on the most dangerous hours for travel due to reckless, speeding drivers. They looked at data for more than 500 speed counters in Virginia and compared the activity records, year to year. Here's what they found out:
- Nationwide, traffic decreased by 25 percent during the pandemic.
- Despite fewer vehicles on the road, speed counters caught 30-40 percent more vehicles moving at speeds of 10 mph or more over the limit.
- On weekdays, rush hours had the highest risk of a speed-involved crash. The proportion of vehicles going 10 mph or more over the speed limit rose by:
- 43 percent from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
- 63 percent from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Bad driving habits are still a problem. Since 2021, researchers say that fatal speeding accidents are up 5 percent.
Talk to an Ohio car accident lawyer today.
At the Gervelis Law Firm, we've been fighting for the rights of crash victims in Ohio for years. We know that speeding is becoming an increasingly dangerous and deadly problem on our roadways. That's why we work so hard to hold reckless drivers accountable and fight for the compensation our clients deserve.
If you were injured or a loved one died in a car accident caused by someone else, you deserve compensation for your losses—and we can help you fight for every dollar you're entitled to.
Let us handle your case and aggressively advocate for your best interests while you focus on healing. Contact us today for a free case consultation with an experienced Ohio car accident attorney to find out more.
Our offices are located in Toledo, Akron, Columbus, Canfield, and Warren.