Open Roads Spur Reckless Driving in Virginia
WAMU recently reported that eight Virginia motor vehicle operators were cited for going over 100 mph on Saturday night, including one driver who was traveling at some 132 mph on I-95. That’s more than twice the posted speed limit.
According to State Police, excessive speed is part of a dangerous and potentially fatal trend, says State Police Spokeswoman, Corinne Geller. “An open road is not an open invitation to speed,” says Geller.
I’ve heard people say that police are not pulling speeders over, explains McLean personal injury attorney Jeffrey J. Downey. That’s simply not accurate. While there may be less police on the road, drivers are still getting pulled over with police wearing PPE. It’s also important to understand that if you make a police officer pull you over in these times, they are less likely to cut you a break. Virginia Judges can be strict with reckless speeders and it is not unusual to get jail time if you are going over 100 mph, explains Downey.
While stay-at-home orders reduced traffic, speed-related fatal crashes have significantly spiked in Virginia. Geller says that people may see nothing but pavement in front of them and think its safe to go fast, but that isn’t true. “These are not sports cars,” says Geller, “Plus, many average drivers are not trained to handle vehicles at high speeds.”
Nearly half of the fatal crashes between March 13 (when Gov. Ralph Northam issued the order) and April 22 had speed as a factor. For comparison, 38% of fatal crashes in 2019 had speed as a factor. While crashes are down due to fewer people on the road, fatal ones are holding steady meaning a greater percentage of crashes are fatal, says Geller.
Finally, excessive speeding puts you and everyone else on the road at risk. You do not want to be admitted to a hospital that is treatment patients for Covid-19. You may also face issues getting timely treated for your injuries if you require any type of physical therapy. The wisest course of action is simply to drive like normal.
If you or a loved one have suffered personal injury in Virginia, contact the Law Office of Jeffrey J. Downey for a free consultation.
We practice in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Our office is conveniently located near Tysons Corner.
Address: 8270 Greensboro Drive, Suite 810, McLean, VA, 22101, Phone 703-564-7318.
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