U.S. Roadways More Lethal During Pandemic
* Michael Gopin is not licensed in New Mexico. Lee Montion is licensed in New Mexico.*
As communities across Texas and the rest of the United States continue to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic, more people are venturing out of their homes and onto the roadways. After being cooped up inside for weeks, a short road trip sounds like a treat. However, recent statistics may make you think again. Despite the reduced numbers of cars on the road during pandemic shutdowns, the traffic fatality rate shot up, according to a report in The Washington Post.
What the Statistics Show
During the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, city streets and interstate highways showed noticeable shifts in traffic volume and patterns as stay-at-home orders began to take effect:
- Statewide, Texas traffic volume was down almost 30%, and The Dallas Morning News reports that city traffic was about 20% lower during the first week of May 2020 than an average week in late February of the same year.
- Between March 28 and April 3, Austin experienced a 49% drop in traffic volume, San Antonio saw a 43% decrease, and Fort Worth had a 42% drop.
At the same time, highway authorities have reported an increase in speeding and reckless driving nationwide. So, despite significant shifts in traffic patterns, Texas saw a 6% increase in roadway deaths within the first three months of 2020.
Why the Increase in Traffic Fatalities During the Pandemic?
State police agencies and highway patrol departments believe lighter traffic tempts some to drive faster. Empty highways allow irresponsible drivers to push their vehicles to the limit. Given this increase in speeding and reckless driving behavior, it is no surprise that there has been a death rate increase on Texas roadways.
Speeding is a major factor in many car accidents. Speeding cars require more time to stop. If the driver fails to react in time, a collision can result. The faster the car’s speed, the higher the risk of a driver losing control and causing a rollover accident. In addition, safety features such as airbags may not function as designed during a high-speed crash.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that speeding contributes to 26% of all fatal motor vehicle accidents.
Need Legal Advice After a Crash? Contact Our Law Firm Now
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin have been fighting to protect the rights of car accident victims throughout Texas for more than 30 years. We believe injury victims deserve to be fairly compensated for their losses. Innocent crash victims should not face the financial consequences of someone else’s negligent or reckless driving.
Every day, we work to hold negligent drivers and insurance companies accountable. The work we do for you after a serious crash can make a powerful difference in your life for years to come.
Our experienced Texas car accident lawyers will provide compassionate, personalized service to help you get your life back on track after a serious crash. Do not give up hope; we can help. Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation, and let us walk you through your next steps.
Michael J. Gopin has practiced law in El Paso since 1987. Even after more than 30 years, he still remembers his first jury case. He graduated from the University of Texas in Austin in 1983 with a bachelor of business administration, majoring in accounting. He received his juris doctorate degree from St. Mary’s School of Law in San Antonio. Michael has successfully handled countless cases of medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, and nursing home negligence. He enjoys helping people “get their lives back in order” by providing high-quality legal representation and compassionate customer service.