Virginia and states across the country have begun the reopening process since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. As the states lift restrictions put in place and more businesses begin to open up, more people will be back on the roads. But after staying home for the past couple of months with limited driving, it’s important to keep in mind that some drivers may find it a little bit more difficult to ease back to “normalcy” on the roads and this could result in a spike in car crashes.
Driving Stats During the Pandemic
According to national statistics, in the middle of March, as the entire country pretty much shut down, the amount of traffic on the nation’s roads plummeted. However, as states have begun to open and more people leave their homes, those numbers have begun to increase again. For example, the percentage of traffic from mid-March to mid-May increased by more than 60 percent.
There is some disagreement among traffic researchers about whether or not traffic will remain lower than it was before the pandemic because many people are still working from home, while other researchers cite the possibility of an increase in traffic because many people are still not comfortable taking public transportation and risk catching the virus.
And while the numbers of car accidents have decreased while people have been under stay at home orders, law enforcement from around the country report that there has been an increase in the number of serious and fatal crashes due to the fact that with fewer vehicles on the road, more drivers are speeding and engaged in distracted driving behaviors.
For drivers who have been under stay at home orders and not really doing too much driving, safety advocates recommend you follow these tips when you do venture on the roads:
- Always use your turn signals
- Always wear a seatbelt no matter how short of a trip you are taking
- Avoid distracted driving behaviors
- Be extra cautious when driving in bad weather
- Do not drive if you are tired or fatigued
- Keep to the posted speed limit
- Make sure to keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you
- Obey all traffic laws
- Use headlights when appropriate
It is also recommended that drivers check their vehicles to see if any extra maintenance is needed since the vehicle may not have been in use much. It is not uncommon for vehicles that have been parked for long periods of time to not start right up or have underinflated tires. It is recommended that the following safety check be made before using your vehicle again:
- Check the vehicle’s fluids and add more if necessary. This includes oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, and windshield wiper fluid.
- Check the pressure of each tire. Also, check the spare tire to make sure it is also inflated.
- Make sure to keep the gas tank as full as possible
- Examine the battery and look for any corrosion
- Make sure the brakes are not frozen or rusted if the vehicle’s parking brake has been on.
- Contact your insurance company and make sure your policy is all up-to-date.
Contact Our Office Today
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of another party’s negligent or reckless actions, contact a Virginia personal injury attorney from Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn. It is critical to remember that Virginia has placed a statute of limitation on how long victims have to file a claim for damages against those responsible for their injuries, so do not delay. Failure to file before that legal deadline could mean you lose any chance of ever filing your claim or getting justice against the person responsible for you or your loved one’s injuries.
Contact our office today at 800-752-0042 to set up a free and confidential case evaluation with one of our dedicated Virginia accident attorneys. You may be entitled to financial compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, permanent disability, scarring, and disfigurement. Call our office to find out how we can help.