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With Highway Traffic Down, Are Reckless Drivers Still Increasing Highway Fatalities?


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Highway patrols across America "are reporting a rise in reckless driving," writes ABC News. Slashdot reader quonset shared their report: In Connecticut, traffic has been cut in half compared to last year, but fatal motor vehicle accidents are up by about 40%. "We're finding that with the open roads, certain individuals are taking this as an opportunity to push their vehicles to the limit," Connecticut State Police Trooper Josue Dorelus told ABC News' Transportation Correspondent Gio Benitez. Dorelus said they have seen a 90% increase in cars going over 15 miles above the speed limit during the coronavirus pandemic... "When you're going in excess of 100 miles an hour, these crashes are inevitably going to be fatal or near fatal," Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety President Cathy Chase told ABC News. In Massachusetts, the fatality rate for car crashes is rising. In Minnesota, motor vehicle crashes and fatalities have more than doubled compared to the same time period in previous years... Pam Shadel Fischer, the Governors Highway Safety Association's senior director of external engagement, said it could be because it is harder for drivers to gauge their own speed without other drivers on the road. I wonder if that percentage increase of fatalities appears higher in a low-population states like Connecticut (3.565 million people). The article also notes that in California (population 39.5 million), their Highway Patrol "issued nearly 2,500 citations statewide for driving over 100 miles per hour from mid-march to mid-April -- an 87% jump from the same time last year..." But another article points out that from March 19 to April 30, the overall number of crashes in California dropped 75% while the number of people killed declined by 88%, and there was a 62% decrease in injuries (plus a 42% drop in DUI arrests). Interestingly, that same article points out that from late March 19 to May 13 there were 6,043 citations for driving over 100 miles per hour -- so it's spiked by 3,543 in the last month since "mid-April", to a number that's over 1,000 more than the month before.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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