The order to shelter at home has left roads comparatively empty, with traffic down an estimated 50%. This has been a boon for those who live near loud roadways. However, the wide-open roads prompt some drivers to either drive recklessly on surface roads or at extreme speeds on the highways and interstates. The latter was the case when a Michigan driver was cited at 11:45 p.m. on April 19 for driving 180 miles per hour while traveling south on I-75 near Sigler Road in Berlin Township. This was over two-and-a-half times the posted speed of 70 mph.
“For some reason, the public has a perception with the stay-at-home stay-safe order with only essential drivers on the road that there is a lot less traffic and people are taking it on themselves to drive at high rates of speed, and over the past couple of weeks, our troopers have seen an increase in people speeding on the highway,” said Lt. Brian Oleksyk at the MSP.
The driver subsequently made a public apology, explaining that he had been racing with another car. It is certainly no excuse, but it is also not an isolated incident with MSP seeing dramatic increases in the speed on the roadways during the pandemic. There have also been numerous reports around the country that other states and municipalities are seeing high speeds and risky driving behavior.
According to officials, there has been a 20% reduction in the number of accidents, but the crashes have been more severe because drivers are traveling at higher speeds or exhibiting risky behavior.
Victims can hold these drivers accountable
With fewer cars on the road, there are fewer potential victims in a crash, but this is no consolation to those unlucky to be hit by a reckless driver. Victims and their families are encouraged to seek medical attention immediately. Still, they may also be able to seek compensation for property damage, medical expenses, time away from work as well as the pain and suffering involved in this life-changing event. A personal injury attorney who handles motor vehicle accidents can be a tremendous asset in securing the compensation they deserve.