As if a deadly virus isn’t enough to worry about, it seems we now have to worry more about being killed in an Alaska car accident than we did before the pandemic. That’s because, despite there being fewer cars on the road, drivers are taking bigger risks and causing deadlier crashes. We take a look at the surprising effects lockdowns, working from home, and job losses are having on America’s roads.
How the Pandemic Is Causing Riskier Behavior
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) have both noted a decrease in the number of cars on the road and an increase in traffic fatalities. These fatal crashes are being caused by:
- Speeding. With fewer cars on the road to impede them, drivers are putting the pedal to the metal and driving faster than ever. Early on in the pandemic, law enforcement officials in some communities said they were citing dozens of drivers every week for speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour. Whether they are blowing off steam or simply taking advantage of the lack of traffic, when a driver crashes at a high rate of speed, he is much more likely to die or kill someone else.
- Impaired driving. Many of us have joked about drinking more alcohol during the pandemic out of boredom or stress, but it’s not a joke when someone drinks and then hits the road. Impaired driving arrests also increased in the early weeks of the pandemic, and that trend has not let up. Drunk drivers account for around 30 percent of all fatal crashes, so the more drunk drivers there are, the more fatalities there are also going to be.
- Not wearing seat belts. Half of all traffic fatalities are caused by a driver or passenger not wearing a seat belt, and it seems that fewer people have been wearing seat belts in the last year. Perhaps they feel it is one area of their lives they can still control, but it is still a risk that is not worth taking.
We are all feeling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to endanger others on the road by speeding or driving drunk. If you were injured or a loved one was killed by a negligent driver, you need an attorney on your side who will fight to protect your rights.
Call Ben Crittenden After an Alaska Car Crash That Was Not Your Fault
Every time you venture out of your house for groceries, medical care, or much-needed recreation, you are at risk of being involved in a deadly car accident. Don’t wait until the pandemic is over to find out about your rights. You need to take steps now. Request a free download of our book, A Guide to Car Accident Claims in Alaska, to get the information you need before your worst fears come true.