Although The Covid-19 pandemic isn’t technically over, life has largely returned to normal for many Americans. But certain things associated with the pandemic haven’t gone away. It is still common to see people wearing masks. It is still protocol to sanitize surfaces in many public places. And, perhaps oddest of all, Americans are driving faster and more recklessly than they used to.
One of the less-predictable behavior changes associated with the Covid-19 pandemic was extreme speeding. As much of the country went into lockdown in the spring of 2020, many drivers took advantage of the emptier roads and highways and decided to get where they were going as fast as possible. Police departments in many states reported a spike in citations and arrests for “extreme speeding,” generally defined as traveling 100 mph or faster. But even though traffic has picked up again, drivers don’t seem to be slowing down very much.
Are American roads seeing a new normal?
According to a study by the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety, the pandemic saw a sharp increase in speeding, drunk driving and driving without a seatbelt. The IIHS continued to track the data and found that even as traffic volume has returned to pre-pandemic levels, rates of these behaviors have not.
This is a problem for at least two reasons. First, it is dangerous. The last two years have seen an increase in traffic fatalities despite an overall decrease in traffic. Second, the trend is also legally dangerous. Drunk driving is a crime in every state, and the consequences for speeding are often more serious than drivers appreciate.
Should you hire an attorney to fight traffic tickets?
Most people wouldn’t think to work with an attorney to contest a traffic ticket. It doesn’t seem worth the time, money or effort. But paying the fine is the same thing as pleading guilty to the offense. In addition to fines, fees and increased insurance rates, you accumulate points on your license that could lead to suspension or revocation.
If your license is important to you and you want to prevent years of additional financial expenses, the best thing you can do is slow down and obey the laws of traffic. If you happen to find yourself facing traffic citations anyway, you may want to consider discussing your options with an experienced defense attorney.