The COVID-19 pandemic has caused daily life to change for everyone in Houston and throughout Texas, including unexpected shutdowns and quarantines. With fewer drivers on the busy Houston highways, the number of car accidents has decreased; however, the severity of car accidents has increased as drivers are driving faster on the empty roads. Fatalities from car accidents have increased across the country, even with COVID-19 keeping more drivers working from home.
In the Houston area, the Houston Police Department, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, and Texas Department of Public Safety saw a decrease in the number of speeding tickets written in March and April compared to February before the lockdown started. They found a significant increase in the speed at which the drivers in March and April were caught. Some of those speeds exceeded 50 mph over the speed limit. As reported by the Houston Chronicle, those numbers include, “a driver pulled over for traveling across the Fred Hartman Bridge at 116 mph; a motorcyclist nabbed by state troopers that hit 153 mph along Interstate 10 in Chambers County; and a driver on FM 1093 cited for doing 115 mph in a 55 mph zone.” Driving at those speeds significantly increases the chances of being in a car accident and that accident becoming deadly.
The Houston statistics follow the trends the National Security Council (NSC) reported this year. In May, the NSC found that even when the quarantine began and Americans drove less, car accidents became more severe and deadly. When most Americans were staying home, those that were on the road tended to drive extremely recklessly. Even with fewer accidents, the risk of being involved in a fatal car crash increased. The NSC wrote a follow-up report in July that stated, “May data from all 50 states indicates that, for the third month in a row, road users in the U.S. were at a higher risk of dying from a motor vehicle crash.”
High-speed car crashes are significantly different when compared to car accidents occurring at low speeds. When a collision happens at a lower speed of 35 mph or less, the risk of serious or deadly injuries is limited. In high-speed car crashes, every part of your body goes through significant trauma, and the risk of catastrophic injuries and fatalities is extremely high. Drivers on the roads during the peak of the shutdown were putting themselves in more danger than they realized.
By August 2020, as many cities and states have returned to work and businesses have reopened, both the number of cars on the roads and the number of traffic accidents had mostly returned to pre-pandemic levels. While Houston public transportation has done its best to become safe for passengers, most Houstonians still choose to drive their own vehicles to work, which means more cars on the roads again.
Houston Car Accident Attorneys
Driving in Houston is currently the best option for social distancing while getting to work or around town. There are still many reckless drivers on the road and you have to be prepared in case one of those drivers crashes into your car. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a Houston car accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact the personal injury trial attorneys at Adame Garza for a free consultation today. There is limited time to act following a Texas car accident, so don’t delay.