Pandemic Speeding & Risky Driving Continue to Plague Our Roads


25 mph speed limit sign above a police trailer that shows "your speed" as 40 mph. It's on the side of the road in a residential neighborhood.

People are being injured and killed in car accidents at an alarming rate.

A lot of people thought the lockdown and travel restrictions in 2020 would decrease overall traffic, car accidents, and injuries from crashes. But unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Instead, the opposite occurred with increased traffic fatalities nationwide—many the result of speeding. In 2020, more drivers ignored the speed limits on empty roads, and more high-speed accidents happened. Since then, the problem has only gotten worse.

Federal data shows that speeding has continued to increase through 2021. In addition, fatal crashes involving speeding spiked to some of their highest all-time numbers last year. As a result, researchers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently analyzed data from the Virginia Department of Transportation to learn more.

What the data found was a significant increase in speeding by at least 10 mph during peak rush hour times (6 a.m. to 8:59 a.m., and 3 p.m. and 5:59 p.m.), suggesting people may have developed poor driving habits during the pandemic and continue to drive that way today.

Speeding in Portland

Speeding is and has been a nationwide problem. For example, the AAA Foundation for Traffic and Safety found that it was very likely that if a driver was on the road during the pandemic, they were engaging in speeding. Speeding is an aggressive driving behavior and a common cause of traffic accidents.

In Oregon, Portland police officers reported people driving at more than 100 mph, according to

Efforts to stop speeding

Vision Zero is an action plan to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries while increasing safety for our roadways. In 2015, Portland adopted the action plan and has been making changes for safer streets ever since. According to the city of Portland website:

  • There were no traffic deaths among cyclists in 2021, whereas in the previous five years, there was an average of 2.6 traffic deaths among cyclists.
  • A project on NE Glisan Street resulted in an 80 percent decrease in drivers speeding 10 mph or more over the speed limit.
  • Similar changes on NE 102nd Avenue caused speeding to decrease by 73 percent.
  • The Portland Bureau of Transportation installed left-turn yellow-and-black plastic dividers at intersections with a high crash rate. Since then, no pedestrians have been killed at those intersections.

Accountability is critical to keeping our roads safe.

At the end of the day, there is only so much each state can do to prevent serious car accidents. Remember, it only takes one negligent driver to cause a crash that leaves you or someone you love with severe injuries. That’s why holding reckless drivers accountable through the civil justice system is so important. Unfortunately, claims involving negligence can quickly become complicated legal cases. As such, it’s in your interest to seek experienced legal representation from an attorney who can protect your rights and advocate for the compensation you are entitled to under the law.

If you were hit by a negligent driver, our attorneys can fight for the compensation you deserve. We know how to build strong cases, deal with insurance companies, and get real results for our clients. To learn more about how we can help with your potential claim, contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Portland car accident lawyer from our law firm.

Leave a Reply