Coronavirus / Safety & Health

Reckless Driving is a Deadly Side Effect of the Covid Pandemic

driving

WASHINGTON, DC, March 1 – The side effects of Covid 19 are numerous. They include fatigue, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, the loss of smell or taste. Some say that reckless driving should also be on the list. The statistics are scary at best. The death rate on America’s roads and highways has been steadily sky-rocketing to record-breaking levels over the past two years since the breakout of the pandemic.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [NHTSA] says there were 36,096 fatalities in motor vehicle traffic accidents in 2019, down two percent from the year before. In 2020, when we drove less due to the lock-downs and self-isolation protocols that were put in place, reckless driving accounted for 38,680 traffic deaths, a 7.2% increase. And, in just the first six months of 2021, traffic fatalities rose 18.4%, leaving us to expect yet another record-breaking 12-month tally.

NHTSA research shows that soon “After the declaration of the public health emergency in March 2020, driving patterns and behaviors in the United States changed significantly. Of the drivers who remained on the roads, some engaged in riskier behavior, including speeding, failure to wear seat belts, and driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Traffic data cited in those reports showed average speeds increased during the last three quarters of 2020, and extreme speeds, those 20 miles per hour (or more) higher than the posted speed limit, became more common.”

In its report on the phenomenon, the New York Times cites Art Markman Ph.D., a cognitive scientist at the University of Texas, who says, “We’re all a bit at the end of our rope on things. When you get angry in the car, it generates energy — and how do you dissipate that energy? Well, one way is to put your foot down a little bit more on the accelerator.”  And Mark Hallenbeck, director of the Washington State Transportation Center at the University of Washington, told the Times, “There’s a portion of the population that is incredibly frustrated, enraged, and some of that behavior shows up in their driving. We, in our vehicles, are given anonymity in this giant metal box around us, and we act out in ways that we wouldn’t face to face.”

To be sure, the attitudes of too many drivers have been distorted by the pandemic, causing them to do things they wouldn’t otherwise do. They might drink and drive or use drugs and drive. They might disregard safety rules such as honoring speed limits, the wearing of seat belts, and stopping at stop signs and red lights.

NHTSA study cited a self-reported survey showing that 7.6% of the respondents admitted that they were more likely to drive too fast during the pandemic. Seven-point-six percent also revealed that they were more likely to drive while impaired. And 6.8% of those who participated in the survey acknowledged they were more likely to have driven while distracted.

Risky driving is the fatal outcome of a seemingly never-ending nightmare that is Covid. It is frustrating to the extreme, killing too many of those who are infected and destroying the lives of those they left behind. It’s a hellish way to live in a world that is in a perpetual state of crisis. Professor of psychological science at the University of California, Roxane Cohen Silver, told the Washington Post: “Even if I personally have not lost a loved one to Covid, I can be seeing pictures and reading stories about the sheer tragedies. So it’s both direct exposure and indirect exposure to the media of all of these cascading traumas that have made it so difficult to cope with it.”


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Barb
5 months ago

I’m sorry, but when I read this article about blaming covid on driving accidents, etc., I want to say “HEY” wake up. Yes, we have drugs, covid, flu, illegals, etc. to live around and it’s a shame, but it is what it is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, sickness will always be around also. But, still we are supposed to be mature folks who THINK for themselves and control themselves. To many people live on their emotions. Way past time to do what’s right and obey the rules as long as they don’t hurt you and speed laws are there so you don’t hurt yourself and others because we are such inmature beings that we can’t control “that heavy foot”. Well, we should control that heavy foot and we should not allow drugs in and illegals. Count them in those accident causes, not jusst blaming everyting on covid.

Backwoods
5 months ago

The Covid Bioweapon jab may have a lot to do with the reckless driving. If you research locations of the accidents a lot are near facilities that give the JAB.

JP
5 months ago

Only the tip of the iceberg, so much more, not said….

Charles Utter
5 months ago

Trust me, the craziness on the streets and highways is due to the lack of respect for authority that was triggered when laws were not enforced during the riots. If they won’t prosecute someone for burning down small businesses why should I obey traffic laws? Or any other law for that matter. Steal a car and when you get caught you get a slap on the wrist. Why would the cops even pay attention to traffic violations.

JP
5 months ago
Reply to  Charles Utter

Agree

The Mighty Phantom
5 months ago
Reply to  Charles Utter

I think you’ve got a point. In Virginia I called state police about speeders on I 81. The dispatcher said a shortage of officers was a big problem. Also, I recently called for police assistance at an accident. The responding officer had a four digit ID on his shirt. He said officers were now anonymous bc of threats to officers and their families made by the blm crowd in the riot cities.

David McCook
5 months ago

Yes. Traffic enforcement (cops on patrol driving with traffic and making stops and issuing citations) works every time it’s invoked. Police on patrol are absent-hiding, especially those tasked with traffic enforcement. Further, a competent traffic officer pays for him/her self per fines.

Art
5 months ago

It appears that the increase in fatalities also may have some correlation to the illegal immigration explosion. Just my thought because of so many initiatives by states to have illegals get drivers’ licenses.

JP
5 months ago
Reply to  Art

Agree

Becky
5 months ago

Astounding! A recognition that ‘the reporting of media’ is partly responsible for this rage….They would be absolutely correct…
The fake ‘media’ is almost fully responsible for a whole lot of what is happening in America…That ‘media’ has been lying to all of us since the early 1970s. It first began with the media no longer “reporting” anything. It began printing nothing besides opinion. No more facts. We, the public, were left completely in the dark regarding actual events. Within a few years, it was out-of-line opinion. AKA propaganda. A couple of decades thereafter, the media began printing full out LIES. That is where we have remained till present day. The new twist is the added maliciousness. ‘Reporting’ is no longer done to confuse and dishearten us. It’s specific intent is to DAMAGE us. To HURT us, as citizens.
This fake ‘media’ must be stopped.

JP
5 months ago
Reply to  Becky

Agree

Walter Plessinger
5 months ago

I am a Commercial Over The Road Truck Driver whose been driving pre-Covid, during the Covid, and post-Covid and I agree with those who say that the lack of law enforcement is indeed the driving factor behind reckless driving due to the current administrations lack of support for our law enforcement officers. I see the irresponsible drivers out on the road every day, just a few days ago while traveling east on I-90 through New York a young lady made an illegal U-turn and pulled out in front of a 10-ton tow truck hauling 3 junk cars while he was passing me on the right, I was doing 70 the speed limit, so he was speeding and she making an illegal U-turn and she was broad-sided on the passenger side, her car was totaled, but all involved escaped with minor injuries. I see it every day, and I pray that the law enforcement in this country comes back to prepandemic levels or I will have to find a safer job.

JP
5 months ago

Sad but true, even when you call the authorities, if its non life threatening, they will get their when they can.

LauraC
5 months ago

Hunh. I wonder if anyone has analyzed how many of these crazy drivers have been vaxxed. I know that might be politically incorrect, but the shot does increase one’s chances, according to CDC stats, of stroke, brain bleeding incidents and heart attacks. It would be good to consider ALL the variables.

Morbious
5 months ago

For petes, the article misses it completely. Police arent making traffic stops because they cant be reasonably certain they wont be shot.. or accused of ethnic profiling. Who can blame them.

Morbious
5 months ago
Reply to  Morbious

For petes sake…

Becky
5 months ago
Reply to  Morbious

There has definitely been that aspect. Even in small, Midwestern, conservative towns.
I think the extent of the rage frightens them…..

terg
5 months ago

Maybe it’s those idiots driving by themselves with masks on. Their lack of oxygen causing driving crazy. I still see these idiots as late as this week.

anna hubert
5 months ago

Good one covid made me do it

WILLIAM MCKENZIE
5 months ago
Reply to  anna hubert

Not COVID, LEFTIST DESPOTS MAKING “COVID” MANDATES.

MariaRose
5 months ago

I have to agree the reasoning that reckless driving has nothing to do with COVID-19 and more to do with lack of ability to enforce driving rules. Especially when common sense driving (read the signs, speed limits, slowing down, etc) are deliberately ignored. Just because you have the ability to drive doesn’t give anyone the right to just drive irresponsibly on the road and not pay attention to the road. It is even more irresponsible to drive under the influence and claim that you have a right to use marijuana. Driving under the influence means impaired driving no matter what made you impaired, and I will fight for enforcement of that.

Bob L.
5 months ago

The way traffic accident deaths have been graphed for decades is how many occur per 100,000 miles. Just throwing out a number per year does not reflect the true rate.

Yes, people drive fast, they also do things they weren’t doing while driving just a few years ago, like texting (more than ever) and playing with the computer screen in the dash WHILE driving. Vehicles are said to be stronger now than in years past, but now, you see wrecks where the cars and trucks involved are torn open if not to pieces – and that’s before the fire department cuts them up to extract victims. A lot of people still don’t wear their seatbelt, possibly thinking the airbags will protect them. Airbags can be as deadly as a wreck itself when not kept at a distance by a seatbelt. “AIR”bag is a deceptive term because the bag is inflated in a fraction of a second by an EXPLOSIVE CHARGE and if you are in the way, it’s like getting hit by a truck.

Becky
5 months ago
Reply to  Bob L.

Then, back several years, one of the airbag manufacturers got cheap and greedy and filled thousands of bags with shrapnel. That killed people, too.

Andrew P
5 months ago

Reckless driving took off immediately in March 2020 and the cause was obvious – police were scared of the virus so they weren’t pulling people over, and the roads were largely clear allowing for extreme speeding. Then people got into the habit. The cops are back, but so is traffic, and it is very hard for the cops to chase violators down today. Also, the laws were loosened up in the Democrat wave after Floyd’s death and the BLM riots.

Becky
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrew P

A great part of this lawlessness was caused by police and Communist politicians.
When none of them have to follow the law, and suffer zero consequences for breaking the law, why should anyone have to do so?
The result of the moral collapse in America….

David Millikan
5 months ago

Amazing how this increased drastically with DICTATOR, UNCONSTITUTIONAL LOCKDOWNS WITH VACCINE AND MASK MANDATES.
How they are the FULLY VACCINATED having these problems. Yet, the FASCIST liberals media called EVERYBODY, MURDERERS for not getting vaccinated.
Now the shoe is on the other foot and the FASCIST liberals media STILL LYING about it.

Blondie
5 months ago

The jabs are causing a lot of those symptoms, but they are a delayed reaction, so of course, it is not blamed on the shots. People are also having some brain issues from the jabs, so getting behind the wheel, after getting vaxed and wearing masks for extended hours, there is brain fog all over the roads. FJB

Ty
5 months ago
Reply to  Blondie

Not sure where that train of though migrated from, but the resulting bad driving and general crime rate increases are directly related do to a lack of law enforcement and legal action on crimes and general law disobedience.Simple solution is to increase law enforcement and implement stern punishments that a judge can not influence. Drive 30 mph over a posted speed limit, your car is impounded until your court date. For offenses that endanger lives, the individule is locked up with no bail and their car is impounded until their court date. Then, if found guilty they will pay whatever fines are imposed as well as the impound fees and towing charges. If they cannot pay their car is sold at auction to make restitution.Stop giving lawlessness excuses. I really don’t think the jab started this liberal stupidity and I would be willing to bet that a majority of these trafic lawbreakers haven’t been vaccinated and of those that have been vaccinated are participation trophy winners!With that said you are entitled to your opinion, as am I, but I would look into these events and the people who are breaking the law more closely..

Dan W.
5 months ago
Reply to  Blondie

This is the reverse of the theory that a lot Covid deaths were really caused by something else (and about as plausible).

WILLIAM MCKENZIE
5 months ago
Reply to  Dan W.

Actually, MOST of the reported “COVID deaths” were caused by something else.

Dan W.
5 months ago

True, not too many young and healthy people died exclusively of Covid.

Most of the people who died with/of Covid would have died in a year or two anyway so what’s the fuss ?

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