While it is true that the coronavirus caused a significant decrease in the number of car accidents nationwide, there has also been an increase in the number of reckless and dangerous drivers on the nation’s roadways and highways. As a result, the severity of wrecks is increasing.
Many drivers have been traveling at speeds much higher than they normally would attempt in more congested traffic. Clear, uncongested roads caused by the “lockdown” have led to some drivers engaging in dangerous and reckless behavior, such speeding, failing to yield right-of-way, and failing to obey traffic signals and laws.
A recently published COVID-19 traffic report by INRIX addresses the changes in the average driving speeds. The report includes data from a number of major cities across the nation. It found that although the average number of vehicle miles traveled by motorists has decreased by about 80% since the start of quarantine orders, the vehicle speeds have increased as much as 75% in some areas.
Speeding accidents in Maryland during COVID-19
State troopers in Maryland recently announced heightened patrols on the Capital Beltway as a result of speeding motorists during the stay-at-home order. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home directive, I-495 is much less crowded, and state police have noticed some drivers taking advantage of the open road conditions to drive faster and more aggressively.
On April 26, state troopers from Prince George’s County Forestville Barrack handed out 13 different citations to motorists traveling anywhere from 80 to 110+ mph on the Beltway. The straighter portion of the Beltway, located in Prince George’s County, seems to be the favorite area for some drivers to put the pedal to the metal. The one driver flagged for driving over 110 mph was also charged by law enforcement with driving under the influence (DUI). In addition, two tractor-trailer accidents occurred within 12 hours of each other on the Montgomery County side.
Challenges getting treatment for car crash injuries during the COVID-19 outbreak
People with car accident-related injuries may face particular challenges seeking treatment because of the pandemic. Newspapers around the country are reporting that non-COVID patients are reluctant to visit emergency rooms, even when their conditions are life-threatening. If a person in a car crash does not believe he or she is “that injured,” that individual may avoid seeking immediate medical care. This could have short-term and long-term repercussions. Furthermore, though EMS and ambulance service providers have been deemed “essential workers” for the coronavirus, local volunteer EMS services are not considered essential by most states, including Maryland, which has led to a shortage of services. As such, calling for an ambulance after a wreck may be more difficult, or too costly, for some victims.
Plaxen & Adler, P.A. are your trusted car crash attorneys in Maryland. We are ready to help you secure the financial resources you need in the wake of a car accident injury caused by another party. If someone else’s negligence on the road resulted your or your loved one’s injury, we can help. Give us a call today at 410.730.7737 or use our contact form to set up a free consultation.