Some of the most enduring images of the COVID-19 pandemic will be the frightening landscape of empty city streets. With so many office workers stuck in their home offices all year, downtown from New York City to Los Angeles has taken on a post-apocalyptic feel. Interestingly, it was much faster to get to somewhere – especially during rush hour – when you need to leave the house.
However, many drivers have learned the wrong lessons about how to behave when there is less traffic on the roads, and it has fatal consequences. If you’re hitting the road, you still need to remember to be safe there.
2020 is a fatal year on the road
According to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a federal agency, The number of road traffic deaths increased by 4.6% during the first nine months of 2020 Compared to 2019. This is despite the fact that epidemic closures and work from home have caused millions of drivers to be off the road.
Safety advocates were celebrating afterwards Data for 2019 showed that traffic fatalities continued to decline Across the country. But the epidemic appears to have removed all this positive momentum. In New York City, for example, 2020 It has seen more traffic deaths than in any year since 2014.
Less traffic, more speed
Experts blame the spike directly on the epidemic and the toll it has inflicted on us – beyond the financial and physical health impacts.
In its findings, the NHTSA announced: “Initial data tell us that fewer Americans drove, but those who risked more and experienced more fatal crashes. The agency said vehicle speeds increased by 22% in many cities. California reported an increase of 87%. % In tickets issued to drivers who exceed 100 mph during a statewide lockdown.
New York officials found a spike in motorbike fatalities in 30 years, and that 60% of those accidents involved drivers without a motorcycle driver’s license. A New York City official said, “A lot of young people, especially young people, seem to be looking for a way out of the stress and boredom of COVID.”
The NHTSA also reported that 65% of drivers requiring treatment after an accident had alcohol or drugs in their system in 2020, up from the pre-pandemic level of 51%.
Another problem is The rise in illegal street racing, Which has been seen in many major metro areas across the country due to the closure of bars and nightlife.
What should you do?
Despite the pandemic, there are times when you have to leave the house for many Americans, whether it’s to get some cold medicine, care for a sick relative, or report to your work as a base employee.
Statistics show that it is more important than ever to practice defensive driving, to keep yourself and other drivers safe. this means:
- Adhere to declared speed limits and traffic lights
- Do not use your mobile phone while driving
- Find a designated driver if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs
“The epidemic made me drive fast” would not be a valid defense in a personal injury lawsuit. Safe driving!