The number of vehicles on our roads has plunged during the pandemic, but the risk from reckless and speeding drivers is ever present. According to the Governors’ Highway Safety Association, there has been an increase in reckless driving across the country since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Governors’ Highway Safety Association recently released a news alert urging motorists to adhere to their regular safe driving routines to avoid accidents, especially during these highly uncertain times.
The lower number of vehicles on the roads seems to have triggered a false sense of confidence among motorists during the pandemic that they are able to disregard normal driving laws. The organization is reporting an increase in speeding across the country. Several states have reported finding drivers now frequently exceeding the 100-mile an hour mark. In some states, drivers have routinely been found to be driving at speeds exceeding 20 to 40 miles over the limits. Many states are also seeing an increase in negligent or reckless driving.
Earlier reports had also suggested a significant drop in traffic accident deaths across the country with some states reporting drops of as much as 60 to 70 percent in traffic accidents. However, there has also been a surprising increase in accidents involving bicyclists and pedestrians across the country. In many cities, including the metro Atlanta region, the number of bicyclists and pedestrians has increased as mass transit came to a halt. This increased rate of bicycle and pedestrian accidents fatalities indicates that the fewer motorists on the roads are driving at speeds that are too high for them to stop in time when they see a pedestrian or bicyclist.
Reduced crash rates also do not seem to translate into safer streets. In some states, there have been fewer traffic accidents overall, but a greater rate of deaths in these crashes. This seems to indicate that crashes during a pandemic are often caused by speeding or reckless driving, contributing to a higher crash impact and a greater risk of fatalities.
Driving at high speeds or recklessly is even more risky during a pandemic. Remember that first responders across Georgia are currently overworked responding to COVID-19 cases. Hospitals are also filled to capacity caring for and treating Covid-19 patients, and many emergency rooms are on the verge of collapse. Your chances of surviving a serious accident drop exponentially during a public health crisis.
Follow all safety precautions even more stringently during the pandemic. Drive at safe speeds, and wear your seatbelt at all times. Avoid distractions on your smartphone while driving, and look out for pedestrians and bicyclists. Also look out for a spike in traffic on the roads as shelter–in-place restrictions ease across Georgia and more people step out.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident due to someone else’s negligence, consulting with an experienced car accident attorney can help you navigate the complexities of filing a claim and make sure you get the maximum recovery you deserve.