With the majority of businesses and schools closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, many local roads are seeing an uptick in speeding – which is not only illegal, but can be risky and even deadly to drivers and passengers. Instead of the typical bumper-to-bumper commuter traffic we’re used to, our local roads and highways are practically empty, and some residents are taking that opportunity as a chance to explore the wide-open road at high speeds.
In turn, this can cause a “ripple effect” of injuries that put further weight on already-overburdened hospital system. A recent blog from The Traffic Group (TTG), a leading traffic engineering and transportation planning firm, discussed the idea of lowering speed limits during a pandemic.
The basic premise of the TTG blog is that temporary lower speed limits lead to fewer accidents, which leads to fewer hospitalizations and ER visits, which gives hospitals more resources to deal with COVID-19. It also points out that many essential workers and families make up a good amount of pedestrian traffic, a segment of the population who are much less likely to survive a car accident at a higher speed. At 25mph, a pedestrian has an 89% to 90% chance of survival, while at 40mph, that chance of survival can drop to as low as 35 percent.
Maryland Matters reported that the State Police have increased enforcement and boosted their personnel in response to local speeding problems. Major Greg Shipley, a State Police spokesman, said “troopers have both observed speeding/aggressive driving and received additional complaints about it since there has been lighter traffic on the roads.”
According to the article, since March 15, troopers at the College Park Barrack alone have written 800 traffic citations and issued 108 warnings for traffic violations, mostly on Interstate 95 and I-495. Wes Guckert of TTG added, “People are just driving crazy. They’re driving crazy fast. Drivers are out there without any reason to slow down. They see that they can drive as fast as they want, and many of them are. And that’s a problem.”
If you’re in a car accident during the pandemic
During these uncertain times, when we’re unsure about when stay-at-home orders will end, suffering injuries in a car accident can come with extra risks. You may face unique challenges, including potential accidental exposure, delay in treatment, lack of access to medical care, and an increase in pain and suffering. You may not fully heal from your injury, either physically or emotionally, due to the circumstances of your accident and recovery.
Remember, our hospitals and emergency rooms are overwhelmed. The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t a license to speed or break traffic rules, and we owe it to our essential workers and first responders to keep the roads and highways safe. Preventing critical injuries is the best way to keep hospital beds and medical resources available.
At Plaxen & Adler, P.A., our priority is our clients’ health and safety. Talk to our Maryland personal injury attorneys today if you’ve been injured in an accident. We can work with you to recover compensation. To set up a consultation, call us today at 410-730-7737 or complete our contact form.