The pandemic has affected nearly every part of our lives. Stay at home orders and office closures have contributed to the apparent benefit of having an estimated 40% fewer vehicles on the road nationally. While the number of crashes was down or remained the same (depending on various types of measurements), state officials found by the end of May that there was an increase in traffic fatalities on Connecticut roads.
This aligns with a national trend. Fewer vehicles led to drivers increasing their speeds on surface roads and highways, with countless reports of drivers exceeding 100 mph in states ranging from California to Georgia.
Why is this happening?
Officials have offered a number of explanations:
- Older people or risk-averse drivers are more likely to stay at home, leaving wide open roads for faster risk-taking drivers
- Increase in alcohol and drug use to cope with the pandemic-related stress
Greater risk to the innocent
Many assume that high-speed accidents are only occurring on the tollways and highways, and there are many reports of drivers traveling well above the speed limit crashing into other cars. But pedestrians and bicyclists are also at a much greater risk of injury or death when cars travel at twice the posted speed in cities, sometimes recklessly weaving through traffic as they go. There is also a national trend where drivers are drag racing.
Victims can hold the negligent accountable
Victims and their families can hold these drivers accountable. Their reckless actions can cause life-changing injuries and death to victims going about their business or perhaps blowing off some steam with fresh air and exercise. Sadly, this put them at the wrong place at the wrong time, leaving families to seek justice.