Is COVID-19 Responsible For An Increase In Car Accidents?
Concerns over COVID-19 continue to keep many of us on edge. The pandemic has resulted in health issues, job losses, and interruptions in daily activities. Under the circumstances, it is natural to feel frustrated and increasingly anxious. Unfortunately, some of the ways people are dealing with these problems can put others at risk. Recent studies report a rise in car accident injuries since the pandemic started and blame it on an increase in dangerous driving behaviors.
COVID-19 Impacts On Road Safety
Since the first cases of COVID-19 were reported in March of 2020, life for most of us has been anything but normal. Amidst concerns over contracting the illness, residents have endured lockdowns that resulted in job lay-offs or losses and isolation from family and friends. Even as case counts have gone down, we continue to feel the impacts and it is affecting our mental health.
According to studies from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), many people have turned to drugs or alcohol as a way of dealing with the stress. Others find themselves with a much shorter fuse and less tolerance for otherwise minor annoyances. Both have the potential to put others at risk, particularly on the roads. Dangerous driving behaviors have become more common and include:
- Driving under the influence;
- Speeding and going too fast for conditions;
- Racing other vehicles;
- Tailgating and generally not allowing other drivers the space they need;
- Failing to stop or yield at traffic signs and signals;
- Improper passing and cutting other drivers off;
- Responding with anger to traffic tie ups and other irritations.
The NIH reports that as a result of the above, fatal car accidents have increased by close to 15 percent during the pandemic.
Practice Defensive Driving To Reduce Car Accident Risks
It is always smart to practice defensive driving when out on the road, but particularly so during this time when car accident risks are greater. Geico Insurance advises the following defensive driving tips to help keep you and your passengers safe:
- Plan ahead before making trips. Be prepared for traffic tie-ups during busy times of day, or on weekends and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.
- Avoid distractions. Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel at all times, avoiding distractions such as cell phones or texting.
- Give others plenty of space. Avoid driving directly behind or alongside other drivers. Apply the brakes early to give those behind you plenty of notice.
- Do not respond with anger. If another driver cuts you off or behaves in some other aggressive fashion, avoid going on the offensive.
- Drive sober. Even one or two drinks increase car accident risks.
Contact Us Today for Professional Help
Despite your precautions, car accidents can still happen. At Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A., you can count on us to help you hold those at-fault accountable in a claim. Call or contact our Daytona Beach car accident attorneys to request a consultation today.