It’s easy to think that with less cars on the road, the less accidents. And with less accidents, less deaths. But the National Safety Council (NSC) recently reported that despite less Americans on the road, motor vehicle deaths have risen in some places from March 2019 to March 2020.
Although there is an 8 percent drop in drivers on the road and average miles driven has dropped 8.6 percent during this time, the mileage death rate per 100 million vehicles driven was 1.22 in March 2020 compared to 1.07 in March 2019. California saw an increase of 8 percent in road way deaths within the first three months of 2020.
Can less cars on the road cause more accidents?
With less cars on the road, this gives some drivers the idea that driving recklessly is ok. “Disturbingly, we have open lanes of traffic and an apparent open season on reckless driving,” said Lorraine M. Martin, NSC president and CEO. “Right now, in the midst of a global pandemic and crisis, we should take it as our civic duty to drive safely. If we won’t do it for ourselves, we should do it for the first responders, our law enforcement and our healthcare workers, who are rightly focused on coronavirus patients and should not be overwhelmed by preventable car crashes.”
There are reports from across the country that speeding has increased and in some areas, there are ill-advised roadway tactics that are contributing to these fatalities. Specifically, some states like Georgia are repealing the requirement for teenagers to pass driver’s tests before they’re given their license. Georgia allowed nearly 20,000 teens to pass because of the outbreak. Studies on how the pandemic is affecting driving habits are ongoing.
Tips to Drive Safely During the Pandemic:
1. Follow all shelter in place or quarantine directives and stay off the road if directed to do so. Only go out for essential activities as long as the order is in place.
2. Obey all traffic laws including speed limits, distracted driving, etc. even in light traffic.
3. Be aware that there may be increased pedestrian and bike traffic. This is especially true near the beach areas of San Diego. With beaches opening further on June 2, 2020, there will be more pedestrians and bicyclists out.
4. Make sure to practice defensive driving: never drive intoxicated, be sure to be alert and not drowsy or sleepy, and wear your seatbelt.
5. If you have teen drivers in the house, stay engaged with them and continue to practice to make sure they aren’t developing bad habits.
Steps to Take After a San Diego Car Accident During the Pandemic
1. Stay calm. Try to move the car to a safe area and check for injuries.
2. Call 911. If people are injured, request an ambulance.
3. Safely gather information by following social distance protocols. Wear a mask and gloves. Take pictures of the other drivers and witnesses information on a flat surface after it’s been placed down.
4. Take pictures of the scene and vehicles with your phone.
5. Stick to the facts when speaking with the police and your insurance. Don’t place blame.
6. Seek immediate medical attention even if you think you aren’t injured. Some injuries don’t manifest for several days or weeks.
7. Expect delays with everything.
For a more detailed checklist, go here.
My name is Daniel Hanecak and I am a San Diego Car Accident Lawyer. I know from personal experience how stressful and time consuming a car accident can be. When you call Hanecak Law Inc., you will speak with me directly. It is my aim to provide you with free and friendly advice. Call me today at (858) 206-4DAN for a free case evaluation.