Dangerous Driving Conditions During COVID-19
As the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic continues, there has been an increase in speeding and reckless behavior on the nation’s roadways. Although traffic congestion is down, average driving speeds have increased. Along with more speeding, there is also more distracted driving. A study released by Zendrive found drivers are braking harder and using their cell phones more while driving. The analysis of driving data based on smartphone sensors found speeding is up by 27%, while hard braking climbed 25%.
Psychologists and public safety experts speculate that those dealing with the stress of the pandemic and dramatic change in their lifestyles might find speeding a liberating experience and engage in more activity that is dangerous.
Meanwhile, there are also more inexperienced drivers on the road. New York State delayed road tests until recently, which meant that more permit drivers were behind the wheel. Other states, such as Georgia, issued driver’s licenses without having a road test, allowing new, fully-licensed drivers on the road without first passed a behind-the-wheel basic safety test.
Ultimately, although traffic is down, these other factors have created more dangerous driving conditions. For example, in Massachusetts, Department of Transportation officials noted that while traffic had dropped by 50% on average amid the coronavirus pandemic, but the rate of fatalities on the state's roads doubled.
Jul 29, 2020 Update: New York will allow student drivers to take their 5-hour required pre-licensing driving course online after many teens were left unable to get their license amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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About the author: Peter J. Gregory is a partner with the firm. He is a trial lawyer with extensive experience resolving disputes in state and federal trial courts. His personal injury practice focuses on advising clients who have been injured or lost loved ones in accidents caused by the carelessness or recklessness of others. Please feel free to contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (585) 512-3506.
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