Speeding and reckless driving has increased dramatically since March 2020, leading to a disproportionate number of speed-related crashes and fatalities, according to law enforcement and traffic experts.

What Drives Speeding?

Speeding is a type of aggressive driving behavior. Several factors have contributed to an overall rise in aggressive driving:

Traffic

Traffic congestion is one of the most frequently mentioned contributing factors to aggressive driving, such as speeding. Drivers may respond by using aggressive driving behaviors, including speeding, changing lanes frequently, or becoming angry at anyone who they believe impedes their progress.

Running Late

Some people drive aggressively because they have too much to do and are “running late” for work, school, their next meeting, lesson, soccer game, or other appointment.

Anonymity

A motor vehicle insulates the driver from the world. Shielded from the outside environment, a driver can develop a sense of detachment, as if an observer of their surroundings, rather than a participant. This can lead to some people feeling less constrained in their behavior when they cannot be seen by others and/or when it is unlikely that they will ever again see those who witness their behavior.

Disregard for Others and For the Law

Most motorists rarely drive aggressively, and some never do. For others, episodes of aggressive driving are frequent, and for a small proportion of motorists it is their usual driving behavior. Occasional episodes of aggressive driving–such as speeding and changing lanes abruptly–might occur in response to specific situations, like when the driver is late for an important appointment, but is not the driver’s normal behavior.

If it seems that there are more cases of rude and outrageous behavior on the road now than in the past, the observation is correct—if for no other reason than there are more drivers driving more miles on the same roads than ever before.

Courtesy of NHTSA

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