Posted by: Kemmy Law Firm
The COVID-19 pandemic and economic slowdown have led to a lot less traffic across the country and Texas in particular. With higher unemployment and more folks working from home, you’d think the roads would be safer. But in Texas, the death rate is unchanged despite fewer cars.
The Kemmy Law Firm represents vehicle accident victims in San Antonio, Texas; Odessa, Texas; Hobbs, New Mexico, and throughout the Permian Basin. We see the harm that dangerous drivers inflict on others on the road, including fatal injuries.
The Texas Department of Transportation reports fewer vehicles on the road, according to 12 News, but that hasn’t resulted in fewer fatal accidents. The death rate has stayed the same as last year.
Across Texas, as of early December of 2020, there were 3,445 fatal accidents. In 2019, the total number of crashes was 3,623. Most of them were preventable and were caused by speeding, distracted driving, and drunk driving.
With fewer vehicles on once busy highways and arterial roads, more drivers feel the extra room allows them to drive faster and more recklessly, reports the Houston Chronicle. The Texas Department of Transportation data shows that vehicle accidents fell sharply from March 12 to May 31. Compared to the same time in 2019, crashes overall fell 40%, but fatal crashes only dropped 11%.
There was a 19% decrease in fatal crashes in the eight-county Houston area during this time, but speed-related accidents that caused deaths went up 13% compared to the same days in 2019.
More open roads are resulting in higher speeds, more speed-related crashes, and fatalities.
Believe it or not, police in the Houston region issued fewer speeding tickets during this period, but those ticketed were driving faster than in 2019. Three departments reported 123 citations in February to drivers allegedly going 100 miles per hour or more; seven exceeded the posted speed limit by 50 miles per hour or more. In March and April, the number of tickets for excessive speeding went up nearly 50% – 171 and 175 – with 46 people traveling more than 50 miles per hour above the speed limit.
Those tickets included a driver going 116 miles per hour over a bridge, a motorcyclist clocked at 153 miles per hour on an interstate, and a motorist going 115 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone.
Forbes reported that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states the pandemic resulted in more risky behavior and a lack of road safety messages. Increased stress, idle time, consumption of drugs and alcohol, and more opportunities for speeding and stunt driving may be the reasons there are more fatal accidents, not fewer.
Along with less traffic and more open roads, others will see it as acceptable as more drivers speed, reported the Washington Post. Drivers may feel they can get away with speeding because enforcement is down due to law enforcement officers out sick with COVID-19 or working on health-related issues.
However, COVID-19 can’t be blamed for everything. Many reasons for speeding now are the same as before the pandemic: bored drivers and people running late. One Minnesota driver was recently pulled over for driving 110 miles per hour in a 60 mile per hour zone, and when asked why he said, “I am just out for a joyride.”
Those driving at high speeds are extremely dangerous because they can’t stop in time to avoid an accident. The extreme force of their collision is, therefore, more likely to cause severe or fatal injuries. This type of recklessness can be tragic.
The Kemmy Law Firm helps accident victims and their families in the Permian Basin. Our Hobbs car accident lawyers know what you’re dealing with and are here to help. We’ve handled fatal accidents across the region and secured much-needed condensation for families after speed-related crashes on Highway 62, N. Lovington Highway, and other dangerous roads.
Don’t accept a settlement or speak with an insurance company without speaking to an attorney first. Call the Kemmy Law Firm at (210) 750-1019 for a free, no-risk consultation.
Get a free consultation. We do not charge up-front fees, and you owe nothing unless you recover compensation.
When you work with us at Kemmy Law Firm, you are working with a family run firm with more than 50 years of combined experience. We are dedicated and successful trial attorneys practicing in West TX, Hobbs, NM, Midland-Odessa, and across the Permian Basin. Our team handles everything from catastrophic injury claims to complex business matters. We are here to fight for you. We dedicate our time and attention to your case and use every resource available to maximize your claim and obtain the best possible outcome.