The COVID-19 pandemic has caused people throughout the United States to make changes to their lives and routines. Many people have shifted to working from home rather than commuting to an office. In their personal lives, people have stayed at home when possible to prevent the risk of infection, and they have avoided traveling long distances. Because of this, the amount of traffic on the roads has decreased.
While it might seem like fewer vehicles on the roads would lead to fewer car accidents, this has not been the case. The number of motor vehicle collisions resulting in fatalities increased in 2020, and pedestrians have been especially affected. When compared to 2019, the number of people killed in pedestrian accidents increased by 8%. However, the total number of miles traveled by vehicles decreased by 16.5%, and because of this, the number of pedestrian fatalities per mile traveled increased by 20%.
Reasons for Increases in Fatal Pedestrian Accidents
People have cited a number of possible reasons for why pedestrian accidents, injuries, and fatalities increased even with fewer vehicles on the road. One explanation that has been given is that with less traffic, many drivers have behaved in risky ways. People have been more likely to drive above the speed limit, increasing the chances that they will be unable to slow down and stop in time to avoid striking a pedestrian who is crossing the road.
Distracted driving has been another rising concern. If drivers have less traffic to pay attention to, their attention may wander from the road, or they may attempt to use smartphones or other electronic devices to make phone calls, send text messages, or watch videos while driving. Anything that causes a person to divide their attention between driving and other activities makes it more likely that they will not notice the movements of pedestrians and be unable to react in time to avoid causing a serious injury.
Drunk driving is also a factor in many recent car accident cases. Alcohol consumption and drug abuse have increased during the pandemic, increasing the risks that people will get behind the wheel when they are too intoxicated to drive safely. Since impairment by alcohol and drugs affects a person’s vision, coordination, reaction time, and judgment, these drivers will be more likely to strike and injure pedestrians.
Contact Our Champaign Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
If you or a member of your family have been injured after being hit by a motor vehicle, you can take legal action to recover compensation from the negligent driver. At Kanoski Bresney, we can provide you with the representation you need in these types of cases, and we will fight to make sure the driver who injured you is held responsible for the damages you have suffered. Contact our Springfield pedestrian accident attorneys at 888-826-8682 to set up your complimentary consultation.