Personal injury lawyers in this time of COVID-19 are finding that the pandemic has had interesting effects on traffic trends, including those involving trucks and resulting truck accidents.
Between stay-at-home orders and changes to commercial supply chains, the numbers of cars and trucks on the road has certainly changed as have people’s attitudes about driving.
These trends suggest that in spite of seemingly fewer vehicles on the roads, attorneys who help clients recover from truck accidents won’t be seeing any fewer legal cases.
Less Traffic During COVID-19
Based on normal statistics for the state of Texas where there are usually millions of passenger and commercial vehicles on the road during any normal month, travel has been highly reduced when local shutdowns due to COVID-19 were most prevalent.
Analytics firms tracking traffic as well as car and truck accident trends have compiled data that shows driver congestion in Texas and the rest of the country has dropped dramatically in the span of time when the most Stay-at-Home restrictions were in effect, eventually picking up again in June and July as restrictions began lifting.
Surprising Accident Statistics
In spite of the greatly reduced personal and commercial traffic volume, personal injury attorneys have interestingly noted that accident numbers and fatalities have not reduced as much as might have been expected.
Instead, the state of Texas that saw 12,897 serious accidents including truck accidents and 3,610 traffic fatalities in 2019 realized only a portion of the reductions that would seem to coincide with an abbreviated traffic volume.1
Insurance companies and accident attorneys are seeing a disproportionate number of cases based on traffic volume and all are wondering why.
Changes In Driver Behavior Bring Higher Accident Rates
What the statistical data shows is something unexpected to accident lawyers, but not entirely surprising.
Studies of this phenomenon suggest that driver behavior has changed due to the drastic reduction of traffic.
With less volume on the roads, attorneys are seeing that more drivers have taken liberties including speeding, driving through red lights, and otherwise ignoring normal traffic and safety laws which in turn has led to an increase by percentage in car and truck accidents, even though total numbers are less.
Essentially, many drivers broke laws during low traffic periods and exhibited unsafe driving habits simply because they felt it could be done with fewer cars and commercial trucks on the road.
One resource likened it to weekday roads behaving like weekend roads when there is no rush hour and traffic naturally moves faster, increasing the chance of speed-related and careless car and truck accidents in some situations.
Avoid Taking Driving Liberties In Periods of Low Volume
Considering the above findings, personal injury lawyers can only stress the importance of safe driving even when there are fewer vehicles on the road.
Even in these conditions, unsafe driving may be more likely to result in a car or truck accident simply due to carelessness and a more relaxed attitude toward road safety.
The trend of speeding and foregoing normal driving rules has caused a negative effect by increasing traffic accidents including those that end up involving truck accident attorneys to help with recovery.
Hildebrand & Wilson, Attorneys at Law
7930 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
1Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Facts Calendar Year 2019, April 15, 2020