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Traffic Accidents Are Down During COVID-19 in North Carolina, BUT Fatal Crashes Are Not

During these trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have noticed that auto insurers have been giving their drivers a cost break, whether it’s through refunds or credits. This is due to less traffic on the road because of ‘safer at home’ guidelines. In fact, with fewer vehicles on the road, accident numbers have gone down.

However, although data is still coming in on traffic and car crashes, the statistics are alarming. There may be fewer accidents in general, but the number of fatal crashes has increased in North Carolina. Here is what we know. 

Less Traffic = Less Accidents

The Raleigh News & Observer reports that highway traffic has been reduced by up to 50% in North Carolina during the pandemic. Because people are staying home from work and school, this reduces the number of cars on the streets – in fact, this phenomenon is happening across the country. CNN reports that in March, congestion disappeared across America altogether. 

The News & Observer goes on to report that state pedestrian fatalities are down, fatal crashes involving drivers over the age of 65 have declined, drunk-driving fatal crashes are down, and the State Highway Patrol has issued fewer citations to drivers this year. 

Unfortunately, even though some types of fatal crashes have decreased, overall, fatal crashes are on the rise.

Less Traffic = More Drivers Speeding on the Roads

It has also been reported that drivers across the country are speeding on highways, most likely due to the lack of other cars. In Sandy Springs, Georgia, one motorcyclist was clocked at 172 mph. Police caught the driver. Iowa State Patrol officers have issued over 100 tickets for speeding. In New York city, over 24,000 tickets were issued by automated speeding cameras on March 27. That’s over double the normal amount of tickets from February.

Less Traffic = More Fatal Crashes

One traffic element that hasn’t slowed down with COVID-19 however, is commercial vehicles. According to the News & Observer, there have been 32 fatal crashes involving heavy trucks in North Carolina alone. This accounts for 40 deaths, which is a 60% increase over last year.

The number of trucks coming into the state has increased by 41%. Although there are fewer crashes involving semis, there is still an increase in deaths from accidents involving heavy trucks.

When commercial vehicles collide with smaller cars, the situation is often severe. The data about these crashes is preliminary – in many cases, fault has not been determined. One expert suspects that drivers may not be physically distracted, but emotionally distracted. Distractions over family and jobs can be just as serious and devastating as using a cell phone while driving.

Call The experienced attorneys at Glenn, Mills, Fisher & Mahoney If You’ve Been Involved In a Motor Vehicle Accident .

If you or a loved one has been in a devastating car accident, contact the experts at GMFM Law for a free consultation.

Glenn, Mills, Fisher & Mahoney, P.A. is a Durham law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of North Carolinians since 1980, and we’ll discuss the best options fit for you and your particular situation. Call (919) 683-2135 today!