The spread of the novel coronavirus has had a significant impact on road traffic. With fewer people driving to work every day, it should be no surprise that the number of car crashes has decreased. However, crash rates have increased in many regions, alongside increases in the rates of severe injuries and fatalities.
Speeding is the primary predictor of crashes. This data suggest that the open roads are enticing America’s more reckless motorists — and to deadly effect.
Texas car accidents
This phenomenon has come to Texas as well. In March 2019, more than 450 crashes occurred in the city of Austin that resulted in 99 injuries. March 2020 numbers are down to 381 collisions, but of those, 111 resulted in injury. Though fewer people are driving, they are doing so more recklessly and with greater danger. The data does not reveal information on fatality due to these injuries, but Austin residents should be aware that three of the victims were pedestrians.
A country-wide problem
Other states are seeing similar activity. Minnesota car crashes and fatalities have both doubled during the health crisis. Massachusetts crash rates are down 73% but fatality rates dropped by only 38%. When pulled over, many drivers are expressing surprise that police are even issuing tickets during the crisis.
Many racing enthusiasts see the open roads as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Several are trying the infamous Cannonball Run, a cross-country race from Manhattan to Redondo Beach in California. Just last week, a car loaded with extra fuel in the trunk made the 3,000-mile trip in less than 27 hours, easily breaking previous records. Though many may find illegal thrill rides like the Cannonball Run exciting, the safety of American citizens must take priority.
Practice proper road safety
Though much emptier now, American roads remain quite dangerous, especially for pedestrians. Those who have sustained injuries as a result of a reckless motorist have found success inquiring with a local attorney about a potential personal injury claim. A lawyer familiar with personal injury and motor vehicle accidents can help answer any questions.