For more than a year, the United States has been fighting against a dangerous and deadly problem that was largely unexpected and difficult to avoid without significant disruption to one’s life. The problem, of course, was the Covid-19 pandemic, which is now beginning to abate thanks to an aggressive vaccine campaign.
But even as the pandemic has been a constant reminder that life is fragile, too many Americans have chosen to act in reckless ways that put their lives and the lives of others at risk. According to a recent L.A. Times article, the significant drop in traffic volume due to stay-at-home orders has been accompanied by a dramatic rise in reckless driving behaviors – especially excessive speeding.
Evidence of excessive speeding is not just anecdotal. It is documented in California and elsewhere. In just the first month of the pandemic last year, citations for speeding in excess of 100 mph had climbed 87 percent in California, compared to a year earlier. Later in the year, the increase had grown to 93 percent.
The problem also isn’t limited to highways. The L.A. Times article profiled two fatal accidents that occurred in residential and urban areas with well-posted speed limits. The speeding drivers were 23 and 17 years old, respectively, and both were traveling in cars costing over $200,000. Both drivers were arrested for vehicular manslaughter after causing an accident that killed someone else.
Across California, reckless speeding is happening nearly everywhere. Sometimes, it takes the form of loosely organized street racing. Other times, it is simply drivers who seemingly have no regard for the lives of pedestrians or other drivers. And this speeding trend is in addition to the persistent problems of drunk driving and distracted driving – both common on California roads.
Even if criminal charges are warranted and pursued in a given case (as they were in both of the cases mentioned above), it is also appropriate to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit as well. Criminal charges are one way to hold perpetrators accountable, but they do little to compensate victims and their families.
If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one to a negligent or reckless driver, it is important to understand your rights and legal options. Please contact an experienced attorney in your area to tell your story.