Reduction in Traffic Accidents After Quarantine Measures Across Florida
While most of the news around the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is grim, a report from the Tampa Bay Times offers us a glimpse into one of the not-so-obvious side effects of the disease’s spread. With the measures of quarantine in place, combined with the drastic reduction of people going to work (a crisis that is its own massive and ongoing issue), there are far fewer cars traveling around. People aren’t running as many errands, driving to movies, going to restaurants or the beach. This reduction in the amount of traffic on the roadway has led to a dramatic reduction in the number of accidents involving automobiles that are taking place along Florida’s roadways.
The report offers some stunning figures. Throughout the month of April, traffic accidents (including collisions, hit-and-runs, pedestrian accidents, and all other sorts of crashes involving cars) fell by around 50%. In 2019, a reported 33,692 accidents took place within the state of Florida. In 2020, this number plummeted to only 16,191. This information, courtesy of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, suggests that the measures put in place to combat COVID-19, as well as the unintended side effects of mass layoffs and unemployment, have actually improved the safety of pedestrians, bikers, and motorists themselves.
Rush hour traffic, once a highly-volatile and dangerous place to find yourself while inside of a car, has been almost non-existent for close to two months. Bars and restaurants have also been closed, meaning that less and less intoxicated drivers are hitting the streets on their way home after last call.
This correlation between less people traveling and fewer car accidents is fairly obvious, but it is also an important fact to consider as we begin to return to the activities that took us so often out of our homes. Is it possible to take some of the benefits we have perceived throughout this crisis and apply them to life moving forward? Is it possible for us to return to our jobs and our public lives without also returning to the high numbers of car accidents and fatalities? This is a question that it is too early to answer, but we can nevertheless begin to feel some hope.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.