Despite a reduction in the number of miles traveled, 2020 was the deadliest year on U.S. highways since 2007. Fewer cars were on the road during the pandemic, and those that were typically drove less miles. Nevertheless, data shows that the number of deaths on U.S. highways in 2020 grew approximately 7.2% to 38,680, more than any other year in over a decade, according to the NHTSA. One leading factor for the increase is attributed to speeding.
Throughout the pandemic, cars and trucks on the highways had less traffic to contend with and, in turn, increased their driving speeds. In some states, the number of tickets issued for speeding offenses was about double that from before the pandemic. As a personal injury lawyer in Providence, Rhode Island, Attorney David Tapalian has seen first-hand the dire consequences of speeding crashes that are easily preventable and all too often result in serious, life-threatening injuries, or tragic death.
With school back in session and many returning to their pre-pandemic work and travel schedules, the speeding issue hasn’t slowed down but rather continues. Some drivers will continue their poor habits and speed for the thrill or simply because of a lack of visible police enforcement, while others do it because the other vehicles around them are speeding as well. Others feel like they are safe to drive faster since there are increased safety features in cars such as airbags and anti-lock brakes. While a danger on its own, speeding is often exacerbated by distracted drivers, leading to an even greater lag in reaction time and greater risk of collision. Increasing that risk, some precarious motorists have taken to illegal street racing. One such event had drivers across the country competing to break a record for the fastest trip from coast to coast with some drivers travelling at speeds of over 150 mph on empty highways. Street racing in Rhode Island is an extremely dangerous concern to not only those involved in the racing, but other innocent drivers on the road, pedestrians, and bystanders.
While less perilous, there is also the issue of noise disturbance from speeding vehicles. For example, a study commissioned by the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority this summer found that only 4% of drivers on the Pell Bridge adhered to the 40-mph speed limit, and the average speed recorded was 53-mph. The study was commissioned after complaints from local residents of a high level of noise from speeding cars. The RI Turnpike and Bridge Authority is considering alternatives to police presence on the bridge, such as cameras, to assist in alleviating the issue.
State and local police are working with their respective areas to mitigate the issue of speeding drivers and the potential car accident risks they involve. Officers are working on public outreach campaigns, as well as increasing their visibility around particular speeding-prone areas in the hope that motorists will be less likely to drive recklessly if they know they may be facing potential legal consequences.
Call Tapalian Law If You Were the Victim of a Speeding Accident in RI or MA
Any car accident is traumatic, but it becomes even more devastating when the incident could have easily been prevented to begin with. Personal Injury Attorney David Tapalian knows what to do to get you the justice you deserve after a car crash caused by a speeding car or truck in Rhode Island or Massachusetts. With over 20 years of personal injury experience in RI, MA, and FL, David is completely fluent with the complexities of the law and how to hold a negligent driver responsible for your damages. If you’ve been hurt in an accident caused by a reckless driver, you may be eligible for compensation for your losses including medical bills, hospital expenses, vehicle repairs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You need a trusted and highly respected injury lawyer by your side to ensure you are treated fairly by the insurance companies and receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to. Our experienced personal injury law firm will make sure of that, and will be by your side every step of the way. We serve clients in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Florida with offices in Providence, Warwick, Seekonk, and Fort Lauderdale. Call Tapalian Law at 401-552-5000 or schedule a free consultation online.