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Wide-open roads tempt some speeders

The streets and highways all over California are startling open. With residents mostly staying at home, there's no congestion on the streets.

That's leading a few folks down a literal "road of temptation." When obligated to venture out for some essential errand, some drivers are testing the limits of their vehicles and enthusiastically enjoying the empty roads.

According to preliminary reports by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, traffic is vastly down but the speed of the remaining traffic has climbed as much as 30%. Elsewhere throughout the state, officials are seeing a 12% increase in the average driver's speed during the week and a 6% increase on the weekends.

That's a big problem. Drivers who aren't speeding may be taken by surprise if a vehicle comes barreling down the street at them faster than normal, and a driver who is speeding may not have the reaction time available to respond to someone in their path. Plus, the faster a vehicle is going, the harder the force that's involved in any wrecks.

Higher speeds among vehicles also spell trouble for pedestrians and cyclists. They already encounter significant dangers trying to navigate in urban areas, and they have little protection against devastating injuries in a wreck.

Officials are urging drivers to recognize the hazards associated with high speeds behind the wheels. "It's time to slow down," they say.

It's wise to be conscious of trends in your area so that you can better anticipate risks and take steps to protect yourself. Even the most careful driver, however, can fall victim to another party's negligence. If that happens to you or someone you love, get legal assistance.

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