During the COVID-19 pandemic, traffic decreased due to lockdown orders. Unfortunately, drivers were more likely to speed and engage in other distracted driving behaviors because of the less crowded highways and city streets. The prevalence of speeding, texting and other habits resulted in much deadlier crashes as a result. While the likelihood of getting into a car accident decreased, the likelihood of suffering a fatality because of a car accident increased.
If you have been involved in an accident due to the careless actions of another driver, such as speeding and reckless driving, speak to a seasoned Washington car accident lawyer at Premier Law Group for an assessment of your case. We will fight for the accountability you deserve.
Causes of Deadlier Car Crashes during COVID-19 in Washington
The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on motor vehicle fatality trends is distinct and different from other recession periods in the US. The number of deaths related to motor vehicle accidents rapidly decreased by 3% in March 2020 and 17% in April 2020 because of lockdown orders. By June, trends were taking a turn for the worst, with a 16% increase compared to the previous year and less motor vehicle traffic. Rates increased to a 25% mortality rate compared to 2019.
Washington experienced an 80% increase in motor vehicle-related fatalities in August of 2020 because of numerous factors. Because of the decline in motor vehicle traffic, drivers were more likely to participate in negligent behavior while driving. The following are examples of the behaviors attributed to fatality rate increases:
Extreme Speeding in Washington during COVID-19
In Washington, extreme speeding in serious injury accidents during the COVID-19 pandemic increased 18% in 2020 as opposed to the previous year. Although speeding and distracted driving both result in the same behaviors that lead to accidents such as loss of control, overcorrecting, and roadway departure, the pandemic led to more drivers engaging in risky driving behavior like traveling at extreme speeds.
Increased Distracted Driving in Washington during COVID-19
Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, distracted driving was one of the most common causes of accidents on the road. Distracted driving can take various forms, but all activities that take a driver’s attention from the road may be considered distracted driving. Examples of distracted driving behaviors include:
- Smartphone use
- Texting while driving
- Eating or drinking while driving
- Talking to passengers
- Reading such as maps or GPS
- Watching a video or movie
- Adjusting music player
Drivers using cell phones while driving have a one in four chance of being involved in an accident due to cell phone use. Washington issued 6,000 citations for texting in driving during Distracted Driving Awareness month in April of 2019. When the pandemic hit and lockdown orders were initiated, citations drastically decreased because of COVID-19 and other challenges.
Drug and Alcohol Prevalence While Driving during COVID-19
Among critically injured roadway users in the US, the prevalence of alcohol and other drugs was especially high during the COVID-19 pandemic. The use of alcohol, cannabinoids (THC), and opioids were some of the most common found in the system of those in accidents, with a 64.7% testing positive for at least one drug as opposed to 50% before the pandemic began. Drivers also increased in testing positive for two or more categories of drugs going from 17% prior to the pandemic to 25%.
If you have been terribly hurt in a car accident because of another driver’s negligence, speak with an experienced Washington car accident lawyer. We can assess your case and pursue the compensation you deserve for your losses.
COVID-19 Impacted Enforcement of Distracted Driving Laws in Washington
Avoid any place on the road that has collected water, such as puddles. It takes only a small amount of water to lose control of your vehicle to hydroplane.The COVID-19 pandemic affected more than motor vehicle traffic on roadways and highways; it also impacted the way law enforcement was able to handle negligent behavior seen on the roadways. In Washington, citations issued by law enforcement decreased by 44% compared to 2019 because of the challenges in avoiding direct contact with the public during traffic stops.
Speak with an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer at Premier Law Group
The height of the COVID-19 pandemic presented severe challenges and impacted motor vehicle drivers all across the US. In Washington, speeding and other risky behaviors substantially increased the chances to be injured on the road. If you have been terribly injured due to another driver’s negligent behavior while driving, speak to the car accident lawyers at Premier Law Group. We diligently assess your case and pursue the compensation you deserve on your behalf.
The legal team at Premier Law Group offers compassionate, comprehensive, and collaborative representation for clients in Washington. We are committed to attaining the most favorable results for victims suffering because of another driver’s negligence. For dedicated representation, call (206) 880-7518 for a complimentary consultation or fill out our contact form.