Has the Risk of a Car Crash Gone Up During the Pandemic?

gray-car-smashed-frontOn May 20, the National Safety Council released statistics showing U.S. highways have been deadlier during the pandemic. According to preliminary data from March, when Americans started driving less, the fatality rate per mile driven increased by 14 percent compared to the year before.

These statistics confirm reports from around the nation about speeding and reckless driving during the pandemic leading to many crashes and fatalities. Below, learn more about the increased risks for accidents during the pandemic and what you can do to help reduce your risk of a crash.

If an accident happens and someone else is at fault, call Arnold Law Firm to schedule a free legal consultation. One of our licensed Sacramento auto accident attorneys may be able to help you seek compensation for damages.

Car Crash Statistics During the Pandemic

Unfortunately, the risk of a crash on the roadways has increased, according to the National Safety Council’s manager of statistics, Ken Kolosh. Even though there was an eight percent decrease in traffic deaths from March 2019 to March 2020, the decrease could have been even higher if the danger on U.S. roadways had stayed the same. The decrease should have been closer to 18 percent.

While the total number of miles driven dropped by nearly 20 percent (18.6 percent), compared to March of 2019, the death rate increased from 1.07 to 1.22 in March 2020.

Average speeds increased well above speed limits. In some cities, average speeds more than doubled, according to traffic data. State troopers in California, Maryland, Virginia and Minnesota said they wrote more speeding tickets. In some cases, drivers have been going over 130 mph.

“Unfortunately, with the anecdotal reports of risky driving, we fear that the fatality rate per hundred million miles traveled is going to continue to be elevated,” says Kolosh.

Staying Safe Around Reckless Drivers

Trusting other drivers to make good decisions behind the wheel can be a recipe for disaster. Driving defensively has become even more important, regardless of what other drivers are doing.

  • Always be aware of the cars around you and anticipate possible dangers.
  • Stay a safe distance behind the vehicle in front of you.
  • If you notice a driver speeding or driving erratically, do your best to stay away. Switch lanes or slow down to let these drivers pass.
  • Do not look at your cellphone or do anything else that could take your eyes and your mind off the task of driving.
  • Focus on driving to ensure you have time to react to hazards that come your way, along with reckless drivers.
  • Avoid interstates and other roads with higher speed limits when possible.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. Account for bad weather or other factors. Many crashes happen when drivers are rushing.
  • If you encounter road rage, keep calm and try not to take the other driver’s actions personally. Angry drivers tend to drive recklessly and ignore traffic laws.
  • If another driver seems angry with you, keep your distance and avoid making eye contact.
  • If the trip is not essential, stay home and off the roads.

Are You a Car Crash Victim? Set Up a Free Legal Consultation

While there are numerous reasons for car accidents, many are the result of another driver’s reckless actions, often speeding or distracted driving.

When these types of accidents happen, victims should consider meeting with an attorney. The legal process can be complicated and recovering maximum compensation can be challenging without representation. The attorneys at Arnold Law Firm have a proven history of recovering compensation for accident victims.

There are no upfront fees and the initial consultation is free. That means no risk to you in meeting with us to discuss your accident.

Call (916) 777-7777 to schedule your free consultation.