COVID-19 Sees Substantial Decline in Congestion but Opens Potential for More High-Speed Crashes
According to a recent report by the ABC 13 Eyewitness News, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly reduced the number of people on Houston’s roads. The news agency using Houston TranStar compared data from March 25, 2019, and March 25, 2020, at I-10/Katy Freeway and Voss. Over a 24-hour period, there was a 50% decline in the number of cars that passed through the usually congested area. Even at peak rush hour times in the morning and afternoon, there was a substantial decrease in traffic compared to one year ago.
Clearer Roads Resulting in Higher Speeds
Unfortunately, fewer people on the road provides ample opportunity for drivers to go faster. According to their reporting, the I-45 North saw a 121% increase in the average inbound speed. Houston’s Gulf Freeway and Southwest Freeway also saw drivers at considerably higher speeds with a 77% and 105% increase, respectively.
It’s Not Just Houston
Clearer roads do not necessarily mean they are safer. Cities around the country are seeing a decline in overall crash rates, but an increase in auto-related serious injuries. The Chicago Tribune reported a 7% increase in crashes involving personal injuries in April 2020 and a 14% increase in speeding tickets. Streetsblog shows a similar phenomenon happening in major cities like Minnesota, Austin, New York City, and Massachusetts.
The Deadly Toll of Speeding
Research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that “For more than two decades, speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities.” According to NHTSA, speeding is more likely to cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle, increases the stopping distance of a car, and makes it more likely that a collision will be severe with serious injuries.
Staying Safe During the Pandemic
It is important to remember that open roads are not a call for higher speeds. Driving the speed limit protects you, your passengers, and other drivers. If you do suffer injuries as a result of a car accident, you need to contact an attorney immediately. You might be entitled to compensation and deserve representation from board-certified personal injury attorneys, who will not rest until you get the maximum recovery allowed in your case. Our firm has more than 100 years of combined experience and has recovered over $1 billion for our clients.
During these difficult times, the attorneys at Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs are here to help. Our Houston Personal Injury Lawyers are continuing to provide legal support for those affected by car accidents in Harris County and throughout the area. Call our offices today at (713) 751-0025 to book a free consultation.