Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

Coronavirus leaves streets empty but invites speeders

New statistics show those who are still on the roads are going faster than before -- way faster.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
Speeding car Royalty Free

Don't speed. Just don't.

Getty Images
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

All across the US, city streets are nearly free from congestion and freeways have just dotted areas of traffic as motorists stay home to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Those still traveling on the roads are taking advantage of the wide open spaces. Reuters compiled new data and in a Wednesday report showed speeders are taking to the streets more than ever before. And it's not just in the US, but in Europe, too.

Local police in Los Angeles said they've clocked drivers going 100 mph on empty city streets. New York reported speed cameras issued 60% more citations in March year-over-year. Speeding tickets increased by 20% in Washington, DC. Everywhere, drivers are seeing less traffic and opening up the throttle.

Data from transportation analyst Inrix showed the average speed on US highways in the five largest metro areas increased as much as 75% from January to February. The 75% increase came in the LA area, but even in places like Detroit, the average speed rose by 22%.

See the emptiness as coronavirus closes landmarks, stadiums, amusement parks

See all photos

While drivers may believe fewer cars on the road makes it safer for them to speed, the data doesn't exactly back up that theory. Reuters cited data from the Los Angeles Police Department that showed severe collisions didn't see a big drop in March. Meanwhile, less severe crashes declined, as did fatalities. 

So, no, a global pandemic isn't an excuse to floor it down public roads.

Watch this: Bentley Bentayga Speed: The world's fastest production SUV