Over a year after lockdown orders were put into place by local and state governments, we are still unraveling the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the way people live their lives now. Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected car accidents? The short and sad answer: yes, car accidents have increased. While a lot of this data is relatively new, some clear trends can be seen, and they may have an impact on your daily commute or settlement for your accident.
Statistics from the National Safety Council quickly lays out a story of increased risk while driving since the beginning of the US response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The NSC is the largest nonprofit safety advocate in America and has made it its mission to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death. July of 2020 showed a massive increase of 11% in the number of motor vehicle deaths when compared to July 2019.
Consumer surveys report that 60% of Americans were driving and traveling less in 2020, yet the number of car accident deaths kept rising. This data shows that there are clearly other factors at play during the pandemic that contribute to these fatalities. With more collisions, the need to secure the best car accident lawyer you can find becomes even more important if you have been in a car accident.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused the economy of the United States to shift from storefronts and retail shops to a mostly delivered experience. With millions of people out of work and the unemployment rate reaching 15% in April of 2020, many people scrambled to find new income.
Food delivery apps surged in both demand and supply, as unemployed people who were able to keep their car took to the roads to drive for apps like DoorDash and UberEats. The low pay and high productivity of this type of contractor work led to many drivers zipping around in a continual rush, which is a source of negligence that causes automobile accidents.
Many delivery and transportation companies were also forced to hire a ton of new drivers, to meet the rising demand for food delivery and shipped products. In more than a few cases, these new drivers had little to no experience operating the heavy vehicles and driving for the long hours that these jobs demanded. This boom of inexperienced drivers contributed to the increase in fatal accidents on the road.
The whole year of 2020, especially the COVID-19 pandemic sapped hope and optimism away from the American people. Many people adopted a fatalistic outlook between the neverending viral infections and death toll, the turbulent economy, and all the political movements highlighting the worst corners of human behavior.
Adversity to risk dropped in 2020, as many people saw little left to lose. This shift led to more dangerous choices in general but absolutely had an impact on the way people drive. Dangerous and stupid driving behavior contributed to the increase in traffic accident deaths in 2020.
A Socially-Distanced Commute
As the country begins to slowly “open up” for business again, many people will remain socially distanced for various reasons. People are predicting an increase in drivers on the road since passenger vehicles allow people to remain isolated from others. Many companies will continue offering flexible hours or opportunities to work from home, which should help offset some of this major source of stress.
Safety experts are hoping for a renewed push for public transportation initiatives in the coming years, since properly structured and designed public transit has reduced automobile accidents in other more progressive countries.
Stay Safe and Vigilant
Be cautious if you are returning to the road after some time working from home or staying home. The risks of getting back out into the world to have definitely increased. However, by driving defensively and minimizing your own risks, you can return to some semblance of normalcy without a dangerous daily commute.
About the Author:
Early in his journalism career, Kerry L. Tucker had a revelation: there were not enough experts reporting on law issues. Legal matters are part of daily life. Yet, there seems to be a general aversion towards them. One of the main reasons for this is that the convoluted legal language is difficult for many people to follow. Therefore, he decided to change how the law is perceived by the public. Throughout his career, he met with many people who shared their personal stories with him. Some of these hit him harder. One of the cases that stayed with him and influenced his future career development was a car accident case involving a child. From then on, he decided to zero in on car accident lawsuits.