New and unexpected side effects of the pandemic seem to be popping up everywhere, but it's doubtful that anyone predicted the virus would lead to worse driving behaviors.
In fact, many people thought the number of car accidents and fatalities would go down since there were fewer drivers on the road.
Instead, the death rate actually went up as average-miles-traveled went down.
It seems a lot of people used streets that were cleared of traffic by the economic lockdown and curfews to drive like maniacs.
According to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police, more and more people are getting caught speeding at rates over 100 mph.
The top 5 speeds one officer tracked in May included drivers going 101 mph, 102 mph, 103 mph, 107 mph, and 119 mph. All of these incredible speeds were reached on roadways with 45 mph posted speed limits.
The relationship between COVID-19 and speeding
More people driving at insane speeds isn't just an Indiana problem. Police departments all over the country have reported this dangerous trend as well as a spike in fatal car accidents.
Experts think fewer drivers on the road emboldened others to take risks. This misplaced feeling of invincibility was noticed especially among teen drivers, according to a study by the Governors Highway Safety Association.
Overall in the United States, the number of people who died in traffic crashes from January through September 2020 was up 4.6% compared to the prior year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Speeding in Indiana
Speeding has been a problem on Indiana roadways for a long time, and our law firm has been holding negligent drivers accountable for even longer.
At Vaughan & Vaughan, we've fought for thousands of crash victims throughout Indiana. Established in 1913, we've seen the devastating effects of speeding and understand the toll it takes on the injured and their families. Recovering from a crash puts physical, financial, and mental strain on everyone involved.
In 2019, speed was a factor in 25% of all fatal accidents in Indiana. We're slightly below the U.S. average of 26% of fatal crashes involving speed.
Compared to the rest of the country, Indiana has more fatal accidents on collectors and interstates than others and fewer freeway deaths.
Deadly speeding accidents are most likely to occur when roadway surfaces are altered by layers of snow and slush or standing water, ice, frost, or mud, according to Injury Facts. The same group found that the likelihood of dying in a speeding accident drastically decreases with age. Still, every driver should always be mindful of how fast they're going and obey the posted speed limits.
In 2019, there were about 200 speeding-related fatalities in Indiana. The counties with the most speed-related deaths are Allen, Madison, and Scott counties.
Speeding and slow-poke laws
In response to Indiana's speeding problem, some state lawmakers have proposed laws to install automated speeding ticketing technology at busy intersections. Bill supporters said that the equipment could be especially useful at construction site work zones where drivers are instructed to reduce their speeds.
All three auto ticketing measures failed to meet their advancement deadlines and have to be refiled in another session.
It is unclear how Indiana will address the speeding issue. The state's top set speed limit is 70 mph. A speeding ticket can reach up to $200 under most circumstances, and the fine drastically increases for speeding in work zones.
Meanwhile, the fine for breaking the slow-poke law is up to $500. Under the law, a driver has to move out of the left-most, passing lane if there is another vehicle behind it.
If you were hurt, we can help
Getting into a high-speed collision is often a life-altering experience due to the severity of the injuries involved, which commonly include broken bones, brain damage, spinal cord injuries, and severe burns. Some high-speed crashes also result in the wrongful death of a loved one.
If you are the victim of an accident caused by a speeding driver, you have the right to pursue financial compensation for all your losses through the civil justice system.
You may be able to recover money for your medical bills (e.g., hospital bills, the cost of surgery, physical therapy, etc.), lost wages, diminished earning potential, and any other damages you suffered as a result of your injury.
Don't let an insurance company that's financially motivated to pay you as little as possible pressure you into settling for less money than what you truly deserve. Let our law firm aggressively advocate for your best interests and demand the compensation you're entitled to.
Our attorneys have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. We also take most accident cases on contingency. That means our fee is a percentage of your final settlement or verdict and is essentially paid for by the insurance company. There's no upfront money to hire us, and we only get paid if we win your case. It's that simple.
Contact us today to see how an experienced car accident lawyer can help you.