As noted in one of our recent posts, the coronavirus pandemic and the related shutdowns had an interesting effect on car accidents and car accident related injuries and deaths. On the one hand, the overall number of traffic accidents went down significantly due to fewer cars being on the roads. However, the number of speeding tickets issued by police during that time-period nearly doubled due to an alarming number of drivers responding to the less congested roadways by speeding and reckless driving. https://rosenbergfirm.com/coronavirus-speeding/. Even more disturbingly, evidence has emerged showing that the rate of accidents and of serious injuries and deaths actually increased during the pandemic and related shutdowns. https://usa.streetsblog.org/2020/04/09/covid-19-cuts-car-crashes-but-what-about-crash-rates/. Also https://ohsonline.com/articles/2020/05/22/motor-vehicle-fatality-rates-up-14-percent-in-march-despite-covid19.aspx.Conversations with fellow personal injury lawyers and personal injury firms as well our own experience over the past several months has confirmed that the number of new cases personal injury cases did not decrease despite the drastic reduction of cars on the roads.
Now after two months of near across-the-board shutdowns, both New York and New Jersey have begun the phased lifting of the shelter-in-place orders and have instituted plans to open up their economies and get people back to work. That means that more and more drivers will be back on the roads in the coming weeks and months. How the influx of cars back on our roads will affect the number and rate of car accident remains to be seen. However, it is good to remember to drive safely as we venture back behind the steering wheel on a daily basis. Speeding, aggressive driving and inattentiveness are major contributors to car accidents and efforts to avoid engage in such activities should be undertaken. If we make safe driving a priority, we can resume our pre-coronavirus lives without a spike in motor vehicle accidents and injuries.