With roads 41 percent clearer nationwide from the COVID-19 pandemic’s stay-at-home orders, you’d think that traffic incidents would also drop drastically. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. According to Michael Hanson, the director of the Office of Traffic Safety in Minnesota, there have been “half the traffic and twice as many fatalities” because drivers are abusing how roadways now have significantly less traffic volume.
Kentucky issued a state of emergency in early March after the first case in the state was confirmed, and stay-at-home orders quickly followed. While the roads were cleared from most non-essential travel, drivers have taken advantage of the space, and have been driving recklessly. In Kentucky, this is harder for police to monitor because some cities, like Louisville, have limited officer dispatch to certain “non-violent criminal incidents,” including reckless driving and speeding.
Even though these offenses aren’t being enforced as regularly as before the coronavirus pandemic, they are still incredibly dangerous and can lead to devastating accidents. If you’ve been involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault and you’ve suffered injuries and damages, you could use the help of a Louisville car accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices. Let’s look at what’s causing car accidents during this time.
Speeding Is Still Dangerous
Drivers have reportedly been travelling at dangerous speeds during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cities where rush-hour traffic is usually at a standstill have witnessed drivers traveling at double the speed as normal. Many are even reaching speeds above 100 mph, and as high as 130 mph in some cities. Even though there are less drivers on the road, you still have to follow the law and only drive at the posted speed limit.
When you drive at speeds like 100 mph, every small action while driving is amplified, and can cause an accident even more quickly than normal. For example, if you needed to turn your wheel while driving 100 mph, the smallest tug to one way or another could cause a serious crash that could easily turn fatal for you or anyone else involved in the accident.
Some drivers have taken to drag racing in the empty streets. This dangerous activity puts the racing drivers’ lives at risk, as well as anyone else who is on the road at the time. In fact, an off-duty New York police officer was killed on his motorcycle by a driver who was accused of drag racing on the Cross Island Parkway.
Distracted Driving Instances Increase
On top of the increase in speeds and reckless driving, drivers have also been just as negligent as before, if not worse. Cell phone use behind the wheel has gone up by 38 percent and keeps climbing. Distracted driving while speeding has caused hard braking to increase by 25 percent. Drivers could avoid hard braking by traveling at the posted speed limit, being aware of their surroundings, and putting their phone out of reach while driving.
There may be less cars on the road, but that’s not an excuse to put yourself and others at risk every time you’re behind the wheel. Essential workers and everyone else who is on the road have enough to worry about during the COVID-19 pandemic, they don’t need a car accident injury or damages to be the next thing on their already-full plate. If they do get injured in a crash and have to go to the hospital, that puts them in even more danger for illness when they were just trying to get from point A to point B. If you’ve been hurt in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you deserve justice for your injuries.
A Louisville car accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices will ensure that your rights are protected against the driver who caused your accident through their reckless or negligent actions. Get in touch with us by phone or through our online form so we can discuss your potential case.
We understand how stressful the COVID-19 pandemic is for everyone in all parts of the world, and we hope that you and your loved ones are able to stay safe and healthy during this time.