Texans have been dealing with a change in societal circumstances for several months. People, especially in the Lone Star State, take pride in individualism and adapting to challenges. This current situation is no different. Still, people tend to behave differently when there is an altered landscape. This can lead to unexpected dangers. One concern that has been prevalent and is supported by statistics is the increase in fatal speeding accidents on the road despite fewer overall accidents. People heading out as drivers, passengers, commuters, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians should be cognizant of the trend.
An analysis of the Texas Department of Transportation data for auto accidents shows that there was a substantial reduction with drivers not driving as much from March 12 to May 31. Naturally, fewer vehicles on the road will likely result in fewer accidents. In comparison to the same timeframe from 2019, there was a 40% reduction in auto crashes in 2020. However, the reduction was not as significant when driver behaviors were added to the mix.
Drivers who exceed the speed limit or are under the influence still cause accidents. Of those accidents, 646 of them led to a fatality. This is an 11% reduction from 2019. There were more fatal accidents because of speeding with 155 than there were for that time-period in 2020. Researchers and analysts say that the lack of traffic is having an impact on drivers deciding to go beyond the speed limit. This has been a problem in metropolitan areas across the U.S. In addition, law enforcement had tamped down on giving citations, eliminating financial and license-related consequences. In Houston, there was a reduction in speeding tickets by fewer than half when comparing February to April. March and May also had major reductions.
Drivers who were ticketed for speeding were further above the speed limit than they were before traffic cratered due to the health concerns. In February, three law enforcement departments gave 123 tickets for driving 100 miles per hour or more. Seven of these drivers went 50 mph beyond the posted speed limit. For the following two months, that rose to above 170 citations for each month. Of those, 46 were 50 mph beyond the speed limit. Several accidents have occurred and led to fatalities with law enforcement believing that speed was the primary factor. Anecdotally, people are reporting that they see people driving at excessive speeds more than ever.
No matter the time of year or environment in which car accidents occur, the aftermath can have a lingering and long-term impact on a person’s life. This is true if they are injured and need medical care, treatment, rehabilitation and are unable to work. For families who have lost a loved one in a crash, the emotional, personal and financial loss can cause turmoil in their lives. It can be difficult to think about how to move forward, but considering the challenges that arise after a car accident, it is wise to consider the future. To recover compensation for all that was lost, it may be necessary to pursue legal action. Consulting with experienced professionals who understand how to investigate car accidents, gather evidence and follow all the requirements to filing a case can be essential and should be done as soon as possible.