Half Empty Streets Amid COVID-19 Stay at Home Orders Cause Huge Drop in Traffic Collisions
There is no doubt that for most Americans, our regular, busy lives involve getting in our cars to get to work or school, to take our kids to lessons or meet our friends for dinner at a restaurant. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the average American driver travels 13,476 miles each year. It goes without saying that all of these cars on the road means a lot of car accidents. With Washington State under a “stay at home order” since last Wednesday, March 23, thousands of Washingtonians are now working from home or laid off and no one should be travelling to take their kids to lessons or visit with friends. With this dramatic decrease in activity on the roads, it’s a good time to compare Bellingham Police calls for car accidents year over year.
Half empty streets amid COVID-19 stay at home orders cause huge drop in traffic collisions
According to Cob.org, Bellingham Police responded to 32 traffic accidents in Bellingham between March 23-March 29, 2019. During the same period this year with stay at home orders in place, Bellingham police responded to just two traffic collisions.
If a city the size of Bellingham saw that big of a drop in traffic accident calls, the size of the drop in large cities is that much more dramatic. The fire department in Seattle, Washington, only recorded 28 motor vehicle accident related calls between March 17-23, 2020. This is almost 50 percent fewer traffic accident calls than they have received in a typical week since the beginning of 2019. According to QZ.com, the average week in San Francisco since the start of 2019 had about two hundred and sixty 911 calls for traffic collisions. For the week of March 17-23, 2020 there were just 110. This is literally the lowest number of traffic accident calls over a week-long period in the last 17 years. The good news is that with fewer traffic accidents, there will be fewer traffic accident injuries and fatalities during this time.
Though most of us are driving a lot less right now, there are essential workers who are still traveling for work, people out to pick up groceries or medicine and those supporting local restaurants by ordering take-out orders. Drivers should still remain vigilant when they do get out and drive. When drivers let their guard down – such as when they reach their own neighborhood – is often when accidents happen. Continue to watch out for cyclists and pedestrians who are out enjoying the spring weather, follow all traffic rules and avoid distracted driving and drinking and driving.
Seek the help of a car accident attorney
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!