Changes in speeding on Virginia roads during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic

Wang, Jin / Cicchino, Jessica B.
Traffic Injury Prevention (TIP)
January 2023

Objective: We investigated changes in the prevalence of speeding during March–June 2020, the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, in Virginia.
Methods: Vehicle speed data from 506 permanent speed counter stations around the state collected during March–June 2019 and March–June 2020 were analyzed.
Results: Increases in the proportion of vehicles traveling at least 5 mph and 10 mph above the speed limit were greatest on urban interstates and other freeways, during early morning (6:00–8:59 a.m.) and afternoon commuting hours (3:00–5:59 p.m.) on weekdays, and during afternoons (12:00–5:59 p.m.) on weekends. Logistic regression revealed that the risk of speeding by at least 5 mph increased in 2020 by 22% and by at least 10 mph increased 51% after accounting for road type, time of day, day of week, and traffic volume, relative to 2019.
Discussion: Future research should continue to identify where and when speeding problems are most severe, and countermeasures should be directed to the roads and time periods with the largest speeding problems.