JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Fewer Americans are driving due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but with all the open road, a new study found those who are driving, are putting the pedal to the metal.
The study by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration found in 2020, speeds in select cities rose by more than 20% compared to 2019.
Armed with the new data, AAA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a crash study to demonstrate the dangers of speeding and what it costs drivers.
Their study showed even a slight increase in speed, puts the driver at a much greater risk of injury and death. To measure the effects, the agencies crashed vehicles at three different speeds, 40 mph, 50 mph, and 56 mph.
A crash at 40 mph had minimal impact on the driver space, but when the speed rose to 56 mph, the crash-test dummies showed considerable damage. Sensors registered severe neck injuries and broken legs.
At both 50 mph and 56 mph, the steering wheel’s upward movement caused the dummy’s head to hit the deployed airbag. With a human at the wheel, this has a high potential to cause facial fractures and severe brain injury.
A spokesperson for AAA said this can be the cost of speeding to your location. Speeding, while it may seem like a huge time saver, typically only saves a few minutes, according to AAA.
In Florida, the maximum speed on rural interstates is 70 mph, urban interstate limits are capped at 65.