Fewer Cars But More Fatal Car Accidents During Pandemic

With fewer cars on the highways and interstates, some motorists are now driving at reckless speeds. Having traveled up to New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut, and down to Richmond, Virginia, multi-state lawyer Doug Landau has seen cars and trucks flying by on both sides.

Used to traveling up and down the East Coast for his injured and disabled clients, attorney Landau is no stranger to I-95, the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, the New Jersey Turnpike and the New York Thruway. However, his recent forays to see and help family members have been fraught with danger.

With fewer cars on the road, some drivers are driving faster than is safe and putting others at great risk for needless injury or death. COVID-19 does not give those behind the wheel a “free pass” to turn America’s highways and interstates into a race car track

Even back in March when the pandemic first hit the United States and lockdowns were more intense, motor vehicle fatalities per miles driven increased by 14% compared with the March 2019 rate. According to an NPR article, “the total number of motor-vehicle-related deaths dropped by 8% in March of this year compared with March 2019, but the number of miles driven dropped by over 18%, because of myriad COVID-19 related impacts.”

It is not clear whether these unsafe motorists think that there is less law enforcement because of the COVID-19 pandemic, or they feel unfettered by the reduced number of cars on the road. However, notes lawyer Landau, this increased speed and reckless behavior will lead to greater injuries, disability and death on the roads. Perhaps these drivers do not fear having to go to Traffic Court, since the courts are so delayed due to the pandemic. Another reason for this speeding is that these reckless drivers finally feel freed up from the constraints of traffic that sometimes envelops metropolitan areas like Washington, D.C., New York City or on the New Jersey Turnpike. Or maybe, since driving is still one of the activities that one can do while “socially distanced,” it is a way for them to “break out” and feel a sense of freedom and control.

Whatever the reasons, the faster and more reckless driving on the roads that Landau has seen needs to be curtailed. Once things return to normal, motorists will not be able to drive like they are on the Autobahn in Germany! The speed limits are created for a reason, and that reason is safety. Just because fewer people are on the Beltway, I-95, or other major roadways, does not give drivers a “free pass” to go as fast as they can. Plus, who wants to get in a crash during the time of Covid?

So, please drive with caution and be safe out there. If you or someone you know was seriously injured in a motor-vehicle accident due to no fault of your own, please give us a call (703-796-9555) or email us at Abrams Landau, Ltd.