The COVID-19 crisis has had a major impact on our daily lives, including the way some people drive.
Motorists seem to be in a hurry, speeding in unprecedented numbers. But with speeding comes a lot of dangers, which is why it's important for drivers to know what steps they can take to avoid getting seriously injured in a speed-related car accident.
Here's what you need to know...
The speeding pandemic
One apparent side-effect of the pandemic is drivers speeding on the roads of California and across the nation.
Law enforcement agencies say increased speeding is leading to more accidents — about 42,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents in 2020, up 8% from the year before, despite the fact that the pandemic meant fewer motorists were on the road.
The California Highway Patrol issued 2,311 citations a month into the first quarter of 2021 to motorists allegedly driving 100 mph or faster, a figure much higher than the 1,326 monthly average a year earlier.
These numbers are particularly concerning because California is about to enter peak summer driving season and traffic is already returning to pre-pandemic levels.
The Golden State is not alone. From Minnesota to Colorado to Washington, D.C., officials say they are “terrified” by the increase in fatal speeding-related accidents despite an overall decrease in crashes.
Drivers are more likely to lose control at faster speeds, officials say, resulting in high-impact crashes, severe personal and bodily injuries, and fatalities.
3 tips every driver should know
Obviously, you can’t stop others from excessive speeding. But you can prevent yourself from developing the same unsafe habits.
A few pointers from experts to avoid speeding include:
- Making smart choices while planning your trip. When possible, avoid high-congestion areas, rush-hour traffic, and other problematic routes. You can also leave a little sooner than usual, giving yourself extra time to reach your destination.
- Using technology, such as cruise control, to your benefit. If you know you’re likely to speed – maybe just a little, ahem, to keep pace with other drivers! – consider investing in a radar detector or installing a speeding app. Also, a dash cam can come in handy if you are in an accident caused by another driver.
- Remaining calm behind the wheel. In a world where you see speeding “road rage” incidents on a regular basis and think to yourself, “how stupid was that?” — don’t put yourself in a position where someone else is thinking the same about you. It can cost you your health, money, freedom, and potentially much more. Take a few deep breaths when something unexpected happens. Stay in control and don't lose your temper.
Clancy & Diaz fights for injured crash victims
If you were injured or a loved one died in a speeding-related accident caused by a reckless driver, under California law you have the right to pursue compensation for your losses from the at-fault party.
Compensation may include money to cover the cost of your current and future medical bills, your lost wages from missed time at work, loss of earning capacity, replacement services, your pain and suffering, and any other damages that are applicable to your case.
Keep in mind that insurance companies have a financial interest in paying you as little as possible. That means there's a very good chance they will dispute or deny your claim, and if they do decide to make you a settlement offer, it'll be nothing more than an attempt to pay you far less than what you're truly entitled to.
At Clancy & Diaz, LLP, our experienced car accident lawyers have recovered millions of dollars for crash victims in Walnut Creek, Antioch, and throughout the East Bay.
Let our dedicated legal team review the details of your case and fight for every dollar you deserve.
Contact us today for a free case consultation.