San Diego Streets May Be Traffic Free, But You Should Still Be Careful
Ever since mid-March, traffic has been in flux across California, and San Diego streets have definitely shown that. The California Stay at Home Order resulted in a massive drop in collisions across the city for the first few weeks as drivers were not packing the roads to get to work or about their daily lives. However, that does not mean the streets are completely free of negligent drivers.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Roads
Under normal circumstances, traffic crashes in California number approximately 1,000 to 1,500 a day, as reported by the LA Times. However, researchers found that motor vehicle accidents were reduced by more than half during the Stay at Home Order in a study conducted by UC Davis. This reduction, which saved an estimated $40 million per day, is attributed to the fact that the Order reduced traffic on state roadways by more than 50%. On a monthly basis, California saw approximately 15,000 fewer traffic accidents and approximately 6,000 fewer injuries and fatalities.
On the downside, with fewer cars on the roads, many people are tempted to drive faster. Average and maximum speeds on certain highways rose by a few miles per hour, increasing the chance of high-speed collisions. Southern California also experienced record-breaking rain in early April that disrupted the downward trend in collisions, returning them briefly to normal levels. In combination with the rain, higher traffic speeds also made these collisions more dangerous.
The Stay at Home Order cut traffic volume significantly, resulting in an unparalleled reduction in motor vehicle wrecks. However, as the UC Davis report notes, even though the numbers were reduced by more than half, there were still a significant number of vehicles on California roadways while the order was in effect. The researchers concluded that many people were taking non-essential trips when they were required to be sheltering in place, as well as delivery drivers handling the rising demand for packages and food.
Return to Pre-COVID Levels
Sadly, the drop in traffic congestion has been short-lived as California dabbles in reopening. With more and more residents returning to work, San Diego roads are steadily reverting to their normal levels, according to NBC San Diego. As traffic rises, so too will vehicle collisions. However, the type of accident might shift.
Speeding during the Stay at Home Order largely affected single-vehicle accidents, as drivers were more likely to lose control and collide with guardrails or streetlamps. During high congestion, drivers are often forced to drive slower and are more likely to be involved in multi-car accidents, such as rear-end accidents or intersection collisions. While these can also be very dangerous, fatal accidents may drop below the numbers presented during the first few weeks of lockdown.
However, as the city moves forward with reopening and new restrictions, accident victims still need legal aid during these difficult times. If you were injured in a car accident as the result of someone else’s negligence, whether as a driver, cyclist, or pedestrian, then you should not hesitate to reach out to jD LAW. With decades of experience, our San Diego car accident attorney can evaluate your claim and build a strong case for compensation from the at-fault insurance company. To learn if we are the right fit for you, schedule a free consultation by calling (760) 630-2000.
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