Californians are probably more aware than most about the impact that the pandemic has had upon traffic patterns. The roads in 2020 are less crowded because of shelter in place orders led to work from home arrangements for the lucky. Those who are less fortunate may no longer have a job to commute to because they are furloughed, or the company has gone out of business.
Unfortunately, one side-effect if the estimated 35% less traffic on California roads is that there have been personal observations of drivers ignoring traffic laws or even standard safety precautions. In some cases, law enforcement has clocked drivers going faster than 100 mph – according to one report, the CHP issued nearly 2,500 tickets between late March and early April for speeds over 100 mph. This was an 87% increase over the same period in 2019.
A danger to others
The drivers may be going a little stir crazy from all the time inside or see the open road and step on the gas. In either case, these are not victimless crimes. Victims can be friends or family members riding in the car with the speedster or another driver obeying the traffic laws that happen to be in their way. Amateur drivers are not used to operating a vehicle at this speed with such dangers as:
- There is a much greater potential for injury or death.
- There is an increased distance for stopping.
- SUVs and trucks can go this fast but are top-heavy and prone to rolling.
- Less time for crash avoidance, leaving many drivers unprepared.
Families may need to hold these drivers accountable
Depending upon the injury or fatality’s circumstances, victims’ families may be able to seek legal recourse from these reckless drivers. Legal action may not bring back the deceased or erase a severe injury, but legal action may provide peace of mind.