As most people across Ohio and the rest of the United States have come under various stay at home orders, traffic has noticeably decreased. Many state Department of Transportation agencies have said that traffic has decreased by as much as half in many large cities. However, a new study coming out of Ohio State University finds that speeding incidents have increased. At Paulozzi LPA, we want to discuss why this may be the case, and certain steps drivers can take as the economy begins to reopen.
Researchers from Ohio State’s Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA) Have compared traffic data from three major areas (Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati) from March 28 to April 19 this year with the same period from last year. The results show that in all three metropolitan areas, the average level is speeding was slightly higher and that levels of extreme speeding have dramatically increased from last year to this year.
According to Harvey Miller, professor of geography at Ohio State and director of CURA, “The lack of traffic has really released the desire that some people feel to drive fast.”
The data from Ohio is not an anomaly. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has shown that traffic deaths have not decreased even though traffic has been reduced. Data from that state shows that drivers are now operating while distracted more often and also driving at higher rates of speed.
As Professor Miller says, “The message is that less traffic doesn’t necessarily mean our streets are safer. In some ways, they may be more hazardous because we’re seeing more dangerous speeding.”
At Paulozzi LPA, we want to encourage drivers to remain vigilant on the roadway and follow all traffic laws. As our economy begins to open back up, we particularly want drivers to be mindful of pedestrians and bicyclists who have become accustomed to having less traffic around.
We also want to remind drivers that distracted driving is dangerous driving. Just because there is less traffic on the roadway does not mean it is safer to look at a phone screen while operating a vehicle. Governor Mike DeWine recently proposed legislation it would make texting and driving a primary offense, meaning that police officers could stop drivers who they suspect are texting or otherwise using their phone will operating a vehicle. The distracted driving measures have bipartisan support in the state legislature.
If you or somebody you love has been injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver, seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At Paulozzi LPA, our skilled and experienced team is ready to conduct a full investigation into what happened in order to secure the compensation you deserve. This can include coverage of your medical bills, lost income and benefits, as well as pain and suffering damages. Let our Cleveland car accident attorneys get to work on your behalf today. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling us at 888-710-0040.