If there’s one small silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic that has ravaged Florida and the nation over the last several months, it’s that the roads have been safer as a result.
Since April, when a stay-at-home order first went into effect, there has been a four percent reduction of crashes causing injuries and fatalities in Florida roads. The decrease in crash-related injuries has actually helped hospitals better manage the pandemic, as it has freed up some resources that can be used to fight the virus.
Florida is one of nine states total that saw decreases in collisions and fatality rates. Others included Tennessee (58 percent reduction), Wyoming (52 percent), Mississippi (21 percent), Maryland (18 percent), Michigan (13 percent), South Carolina (13 percent), Pennsylvania (13 percent) and Arizona (10 percent).
Lower fatality and accident rates also means significant savings to the public.
Additional impacts of the pandemic
In some cases, reductions in collisions can be deemed a side-effect of stay-at-home orders.
However, there have also been different roadway tactics implemented across the United States that could have made roads less safe in normal circumstances. There have been more relaxed hours of service rules for drivers of commercial vehicles, for example, particularly for drivers carrying essential goods and critical supplies. Teen drivers have also seen relaxed or entirely repealed requirements to pass road tests before they get their licenses.
But ultimately, the significant decrease in the number of people on the roadways has been the most noticeable factor in the changing accident statistics. More people are working remotely, meaning less of a need to go out on the road, especially during peak driving hours.
We shall see whether this trend continues as the pandemic stretches on and, hopefully, begins to fade away.
For more information, contact an experienced auto accident lawyer in Bradenton, FL at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.