Car Accident Rate Stays the Same Despite Shutdowns

The global coronavirus pandemic is not the only health risk facing Californians in 2021. Some public health risks have always existed, and auto accidents are one of the most prevalent. Injury victims have had – and will continue to have – the right to compensation for injuries caused by negligent drivers. It is important to protect this right by hiring an attorney as soon as possible after an accident. Some have predicted that the number of auto accidents will decrease due to the coronavirus. Whether this happens or not, injury victims must be prepared to protect their legal rights by hiring their own attorney to deal with the other driver’s insurance company.

Auto Accidents Per Miles Driven

Auto accident statistics are usually measured by the number of crashes per million miles traveled. The more miles are driven, the more crashes are likely to happen. This can result in interesting trends. After the mortgage crisis of 2008, for example, much fewer miles were driven. Economic tightening meant fewer accidents because there were fewer cars on the road. When 2020 accident data becomes available, it is likely that the number of miles traveled will be well below average due to lengthy lockdown orders. The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic has also canceled many travel plans.

Because the miles driven were down, you might expect that the total number of accidents also went down. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. Forbes reports that total traffic on the roads was down 16 percent in March 2020. In spite of this, the number of accidents involving commercial vehicles (such as large trucks) stayed largely the same as in previous years. The shipment of goods has not been reduced by the pandemic. Trucks must still deliver gods, and online shopping has created even more demand for transportation in certain areas.

Anecdotal data also indicated that some drivers were engaging in more risky driving behaviors in 2020 as well. This, too, contributes to a higher rate of auto accidents. NHTSA confirmed this anecdotal data in a study of drivers who were seriously or fatally injured between mid-March and mid-July of 2020. Researchers found that nearly two of every three injured drivers had at least one drug (including alcohol, marijuana, and opioids) in their system at a trauma center immediately following the accident. Even more concerning: the number of drivers who tested positive for opioids nearly doubled after mid-March (as compared to the previous six months). Marijuana use also increased during this time by about fifty percent. While it is not possible to determine the reasons for increased drug use from these statistics, what is clear is that more impaired drivers were on the road during the coronavirus. This will contribute to a higher accident rate – even as the number of overall miles driven is down. Drivers must be careful to look for other road users who might be impaired. If you see a driver who is swerving, or slow to respond to lights or horn, or otherwise seems impaired, pull over and call 911 to report the license plate number.

What Will Happen to Collision Statistics in 2021?

So does this mean for collision statistics in 2021? The year is still very new, and it remains to be seen what will happen. The trends will depend on many key factors: the amount of online commerce that creates a demand for transportation, risky driving behaviors, the number of miles that people are driving, and the usual risk factors for accidents (such as distracted and impaired driving). What is clear is that accidents will continue to happen. Victims who are injured by another driver’s negligence have the legal right to be compensated for their injuries and losses.

The Right Auto Accident Lawyers For All California Cases

It can be difficult to know what to do after an auto accident. After you take care of your immediate medical needs, it is important to protect your legal rights, as well. The best car crash lawyers in California are right here at Maire and Deedon. Our experienced car accident lawyers have handled all types of claims arising from many different types of car accidents. We will fight hard to protect your legal rights throughout the claims process. Call (530) 246-6050 today to schedule your consultation. Don’t deal with the insurance company on your own: let a skilled legal professional ensure that you are fairly compensated for all your injuries and losses so that you can focus on making the best recovery possible.