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Is it just us, or have people been driving more dangerously since Covid?


Dangerous drivers

We were talking the other day about how people seem to be driving more dangerously since the Covid shut downs.  Maybe it’s just us, but we don’t think so and others have noticed the change as well.

 

A recent New York Times article quoted a state police district commander in Michigan, who stated, “It’s not an exaggeration to say behavior on the road today is the worst I’ve ever seen. It’s not just the volume. It’s the variety. There’s impaired driving, which constituted 40 percent of our fatalities last year. There are people going twice the legal limit on surface streets. There’s road rage . . . .” NY Times Article.

 

And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has determined that, “[d]uring the COVID-19 pandemic, there were marked increases in fatalities and the fatality rate per 100 million VMT [vehicle miles travelled] in 2020.” NHTSA Crashstats Report

 

Reports showed that from 2020 to 2021, “the number of crashes in the United States soared 16 percent, to more than six million, or roughly 16,500 wrecks a day. The fatality figures were somehow even worse: In 2021, 42,939 Americans died in car crashes, the highest toll in a decade and a half.” NY Times Article. 

 

So, what accounts for this increase in crashes and fatalities? Many of them involved impaired or intoxicated driving, failure to wear seatbelts, and aggressive or reckless driving, to include tailgating, erratic lane changing, road rage, and illegal passing. In addition, texting and driving continues to be a massive problem. So, whether from inattentiveness, intoxication, or outright aggressive behavior, the statistics demonstrate a clear increase in dangerous driving during and since Covid. 

 

The hopefully good news is that the overall rate of traffic fatalities appears to be slowly decreasing in most areas of the United States since the first half of 2022. But, unfortunately, our region (NHTSA Region 3), which includes Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Maryland, Delaware, and DC is one of the few regions that still appears to be getting worse.

 

All of this is to say that, if you were like us and thought people were driving more dangerously, you were right. But more importantly, it demonstrates an increasing need to drive defensively, keep a sharp look out, and avoid distractions like texting. Calm down, slow down, and pay attention—it is not worth taking a life or losing one.

 

If you are in a dedicated car accident attorney can be your ally in seeking justice and fair compensation. If you or a loved one has been injured, reach out to a local attorney with a proven track record of success.

 

For experienced legal assistance in Virginia, contact the car accident attorneys at Harty Jewell, PLLC. We're here to guide you through every step of the process, ensuring your rights are protected and justice is served. Although we are based in York County, we handle personal injury cases throughout Virginia, including in Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, Gloucester, and surrounding areas.

 

Your path to justice begins here with a call to 757-568-9633 for a free consultation.

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