It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted nearly every aspect of our daily lives. One surprising effect of the pandemic has been a substantial increase in traffic accidents, especially those involving severe injuries or death. Analysts estimate that traffic deaths in the U.S. rose by seven percent in 2020, the largest increase in 13 years. So, what factors are contributing to this increase in serious auto accidents? Let’s take a closer look.
Vehicles Traveling at Dangerous Speeds
During the first year of the pandemic, most people stayed at home and stopped using roadways to commute to work or travel. As a result, freeways and major roads were emptier, tempting those who did drive their vehicles to travel at higher speeds. According to findings released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “average speeds increased during Q2 and Q3, and extreme speeds became more common.” As a result, vehicles exceeding posted speed limits caused greater damage when colliding with other vehicles, leading to severe injuries or even death.
Decrease in Seat Belt Use
There were more crashes involving ejections during 2020, indicating that many people were not using seatbelts. According to the NHTSA, “the majority of increases in ejections occurred in males, with the largest increases occurring among those 18 to 34 years old.” Perhaps with fewer cars on the road, drivers and passengers thought they had a reduced chance of crashing and believed seatbelts were unnecessary. Unfortunately, high-speed accidents and lack of seatbelt use contributed to more catastrophic injuries and traffic fatalities.
Handling an Auto Accident in Oregon or Washington State
Navigating the aftermath of an auto accident can be overwhelming. In light of the uptick in risky driving behaviors, car collisions may result in serious injuries. As you focus on your physical recovery, you may struggle with costly medical bills, lost wages, and other unanticipated expenses stemming from the accident. However, you do not need to go through this difficult time alone. Enlist the support of a trusted and compassionate Vancouver personal injury attorney to answer your questions, address your concerns, and help you recover the compensation you need to get your life back on track.
Call Henderson Taylor Law Firm today at (360) 737-1478 to speak with a knowledgeable and compassionate Vancouver and Portland personal injury lawyer.