Has speeding increased on Florida roads due to COVID-19?
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued a state of emergency in March and a statewide stay-at-home order on April 3, 2020. Residents of the Sunshine State were urged to stay home unless they need to travel for essential purposes.
Many residents have since worked from home, while others have been out of work. Schools will not open until September. As a result, there are fewer cars on the road. Even as Governor DeSantis has begun to lift the stay-at-home order, it's likely that many residents will minimize their travel in the coming weeks.
Those who must go out may be under the impression that the roads are much safer because Florida’s road are often congested, which contributes to many serious and fatal crashes.
Fewer cars means an opportunity to speed for some drivers
With the absence of traffic congestion, however, many drivers feel more compelled to exceed the speed limit. In addition, some drivers are under the impression that law enforcement is too preoccupied with other priorities to enforce traffic laws.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), many drivers across the U.S. are traveling at speeds greater than 100 mph. State police in Florida have reported drivers traveling at speeds of 20-40 mph over the posted speed limit.
“Law enforcement officials have the same mission as health care providers — to save lives. If you must drive, buckle up, follow the posted speed limit and look out for pedestrians and bicyclists. Emergency rooms in many areas of the country are at capacity, and the last thing they need is additional strain from traffic crash victims,” said GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins.
How does speeding endanger other road users?
Drivers have less control of their cars when they exceed the posted speed limit. This makes them more prone to spinouts, rollovers and lane departures when navigating curves or other obstacles in the road.
When drivers are traveling at dangerous speeds, they are more likely to hit pedestrians, slower-moving cars and drivers making turns or pulling off the road.
The greater the speed, the more likely a crash will be serious or fatal. That's because protective features, such as seatbelts and airbags, lose their effectiveness.
According to state crash data, there were 3,133 traffic fatalities in Florida during 2018 — 303 were speed-related.
Those who survive high-speed crashes often sustain:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Bone fractures
- Internal organ damage
- Facial injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
Why hire an attorney to handle my speed-related crash?
Drivers often fail to comply with the posted speed limit when they are in a hurry to get somewhere, stressed out, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or speeding just for the thrill of it.
Every day, lives are turned upside down because of the actions of speeders. The Florida car accident attorneys at Pajcic & Pajcic have represented crash victims in thousands of crash cases for more than 45 years.
In one case, we helped a client recover $1.5 million in damages after she was struck by a speeding truck driver. Our client was initially blamed for the crash and was unable to tell her side of the story because she was in a coma. Our attorneys investigated the crash and found that the truck driver was traveling 15 mph over the posted speed limit through a construction zone and a flashing yellow light.
If you or a loved one was hurt in a crash with a speeding driver, contact our law firm online or call us at (904) 358-8881 to schedule your free and confidential case evaluation.