A recent post discussed the financial windfall currently being seen by America’s car insurance companies and the measures that some are taking – including unsolicited refunds – to account for the drastic decline in drivers on the nation’s roadways. With mileage drops of up to 50% in some states, it’s apparent that many Americans are doing their part to try to help flatten the curve.
Conversely, a strange paradigm appears to be emerging where even though the number of crashes and collisions has gone down, the rate of those incidents is on the rise; particularly in the country’s cities. And when such collisions occur, they are more severe and deadlier than before the pandemic struck.
A combination of distracted driving and speed appear to be among the main culprits as Americans desperately try to keep up with the flood of thoughts and emotions the crisis has brought while simultaneously trying to drive and stay aware of their surroundings. Eventually, something had to break.
“You’ve got people that are distracted, you’ve got folks playing with their phones and people who, every single minute want to check the latest news, which just makes it worse,” says one Fort Lauderdale attorney. “I am seeing people that are driving a little faster and a little more aggressively. There is a recipe for danger there.”
Another South Florida attorney describes a similar situation. “Last week, [call volume regarding driving incidents] was more significant than even the holiday season. Most of it was distracted driving and people just not thinking because of the fear they have about this coronavirus,” he said. “People were getting very anxious about getting things like toilet paper and forgetting basic safety in parking lots and on the roads.”
Perhaps the next time we go to start our vehicles to venture out into this strange new world where we’re surrounded by face masks, we take a moment to remind ourselves that we’re taking on a responsibility by driving those vehicles. As the Covid-19 death toll soars above 55,000 of our fellow Americans, the least we can do is work to prevent additional deaths that could have been avoided if we’d slowed down and focused our attention. The news and the rest of our information feeds will certainly still be there when we get home. Let your time outside of your home serve as a welcome, and needed, reprieve instead.