Leading up to the pandemic in 2020, car accidents had been on the decline.
Unfortunately, during the course of the pandemic, these numbers drastically increased.
What may have increased the occurrence of car accidents, especially with the decline of drivers on the road?
Policing Protocols and Changes
There are many factors that contributed to this phenomenon, among them being the pandemic itself, and how it influenced different protocols. The pandemic fed different fears pertaining to infection due to contact with individuals outside a person’s main familial circle.
As a result, many police officers were more hesitant to pull individuals over. This did not go unnoticed by those driving on the road.
Additional social factors involved racial riots in response to the death of George Floyd. Due to the fear of missteps, misconceptions, or miscalculations, police officers seemed to take a step back to avoid additional conflict.
During the pandemic, there was a large decrease in drivers on the road. Due to this fact, those who were driving had the whole road to themselves for a few months and became more uninhibited in their driving.
Coupled with a lack of police surveillance and limited drivers to contend with on the road, the road was wide open for their enjoyment.
Fewer drivers also led to significantly lower gas prices. These lower prices incentivized some individuals to engage in more joyriding. It is no surprise that when people actually got out of their houses and began driving and commuting to work again, those that had been driving fancy-free had formed some unsafe habits.
In some states, schools did not meet in person for at least a year. Due to this, and the need for parents to continue working, many kids and teenagers were left unsupervised. It is a well-known fact that younger drivers tend to have higher insurance premiums, and this is well warranted.
Due to limited policing and hours of endless time due to school not being in session, there was a large increase in unsafe teenage driving practices.
The pandemic itself brought on some bad habits and increased reliance on alcohol and other substances. This was in direct relation to depression associated with loneliness, anxiety related to fears of the pandemic, difficulty coping with job and business loss, too much family time, stress over kids falling behind in academics, etc.
Add these stressors to the lack of access to mental and physical health during this time, as many services were limited, and you have a recipe for disaster
This increase in substance abuse resulted in a whole generation of semi-functioning alcoholics, for lack of a better term. As individuals struggled to deal with the difficult situation they found themselves in, they went into survival mode and tried to numb the reality of their lonely and uncontrollable lives.
These people then went back to commuting to work. While some may have been able to reestablish healthy habits, alcoholism is a disease, and for some, this was not as easily remedied. This increase in substance abuse thus resulted in more risky behavior overall on the road.
All of these compounding factors resulted in a drastic uptick in vehicular accidents. Although there is a large physical and mental toll that car accidents have on our society, there is also a huge financial toll as well, costing billions of dollars.
It’s important if you or a loved one has experienced the unfortunate event of a vehicular accident, whether at fault or a victim, that you obtain legal counsel to help protect yourself and your interests.
We live in a post-pandemic time – bad habits were formed and now must be unlearned. Until that time, it’s important to protect yourself and stay as safe as possible.