When one considers some of the top causes of car accidents, there is almost always an association between traffic congestion and the risk of collision. Which is why the trend in Massachusetts right now is baffling: despite the fact that traffic has decreased by 50 percent in our state as a result of coronavirus-prompted stay-at-home orders, the roadway death rate has doubled. Consider the following about why Massachusetts car accident deaths are way up during the pandemic and what you can do to stay safe–
Why the Surge?
According to various sources and reports, including this article from NBC Boston, the uptick in accidents and roadway deaths can be attributed to a “pretty disturbing trend in the way that people have been driving.” This trend might be explained by the fact that less traffic on the road has led people to drive more recklessly than they would otherwise, throwing caution to the wind, so to speak. Speeding, texting while driving, and other dangerous behaviors may feel less risky to drivers when there aren’t as many cars on the road.
In addition to an increase in unsafe driving, there’s also been an increase in pedestrians, joggers, and bikers who are hoping to get in some outdoor exercise during the pandemic. In fact, two-thirds of the roadway deaths reported in April occurred on local roads. (There were a total of 28 deaths in April.)
Safety Tips on the Road During the Pandemic
For those who are driving, walking, or biking during the pandemic, it’s important to remember that deceased levels of traffic or not, safety is paramount. Here are some safety tips to help reduce the risk of an accident:
- Follow the speed limit
- Adhere to hands-free rules
- Put away distractions!
- Pay attention to pedestrians and cyclists who may be sharing the roads
- Never drink and drive
- Remember that lower levels of traffic don’t mean that you have the road completely to yourself
For walkers and bikers:
- Always wear colors that can be easily seen, or choose reflective clothing
- Always stay on the sidewalk or in the bike path when it’s available
- Don’t assume that a driver sees you and will yield – make eye contact first and only proceed when you have the right of way
- If you’re riding a bike, wear a helmet!
Call an Experienced Car Accident Attorney if You’re in a Crash
While you might feel like your life is pretty risk-free during the coronavirus pandemic due to all of the time spent at home, motor vehicle accidents are still happening. When a crash occurs, a victim may suffer devastating or fatal injuries. At The Law Offices of Alan Hildreth King & Associates, our experienced Massachusetts auto accident lawyers are here to support you. Our law firm understands what you’re going through and the type of support you need. Call us today at (781) 284-2900 for your free consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis and can start building your case immediately.