Back on the Road after Coronavirus Lockdown
When Tennessee Governor Bill Lee ordered a statewide lockdown on Thursday, April 2, traffic across the state decreased dramatically. The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported that traffic on highways dropped to less than half of the number of cars on the road during the same time last year.
However, these restrictions on movement and travel have slowly loosened since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. In Tennessee and across the country, many people are returning to their daily activities, and drivers are getting back on the road. This change is essential to rebuild the economy and return to a sense of normalcy, but increasing car travel poses greater risks for drivers.
The car accident lawyers at The Terry Law Firm are dedicated to helping you and your loved ones stay safe, as you get back on the road after the coronavirus lockdown. That is why we have compiled the following information about driving changes and traffic trends in Tennessee.
Increase in Driving Blamed on ‘Lockdown Fatigue’
Although the amount of traffic is still lower than normal, the United States has reported a 60% increase in driving, since the lowest traffic levels during COVID-19. This increase is partially due to states ending stay-at-home orders and reopening businesses. However, many people believe that this increase is the result of “lockdown fatigue.”
After months of staying inside and avoiding contact with others, people are exhausted by the continual stress of the pandemic, and many are feeling bored and lonely inside their homes. Furthermore, as the weather improves with the start of summer, people everywhere are feeling the urge to go outside and enjoy the sun. All of these factors are playing a role in lockdown fatigue and are causing many people to look for a safe way to get out of the house.
For some, getting back in their car has been the best way to cope with the ongoing coronavirus. Going for a drive allows you to leave the house and enjoy the weather even while social distancing. Across America, more people are taking road trips to help combat their lockdown fatigue.
How Does It Affect the Traffic?
At the start of the pandemic, essential workers were the only people still driving every day. This caused traffic to decline, leaving highways empty and essentially eliminating rush hour. However, more Americans are starting to return to work, and many others are feeling the need to leave the house.
These changes are increasing the number of cars on the road, which inevitably leads to more traffic. If you are back on the road, you may have experienced the return of congested streets and rush hour delays.
This traffic increase is a necessary part of the country’s recovery from COVID-19. However, when drivers get back in their cars, especially after months without driving, the number of car accidents may significantly increase, as well.
Essential-Trips-Only Rule Reduced Traffic Collisions
At the start of the pandemic, most people left their homes only to handle essential needs, such as going to the grocery store or doctors’ appointments. This “essential-trips-only” rule played a large role in decreasing traffic.
With fewer cars on the road, the number of vehicle collisions plummeted across the country. However, the number of traffic fatalities skyrocketed.
Police officers reported that drivers were using empty roads as an excuse to engage in dangerous driving behaviors. A State Patrol Officer in Minnesota reported a 146% increase in the number of cars pulled over for driving over 100 mph. In addition to speeding violations, officers reported more people driving without a seatbelt and driving while distracted. These behaviors made driving more dangerous and resulted in a 14% increase in traffic fatalities nationwide.
Tips for Staying Safe on the Road as Shelter-in-Place Rules Lift
Even as traffic increases after lockdown, many drivers may continue their reckless driving habits from the pandemic. As you get back on the road, you and your loved ones may face an even greater risk of a serious or even life-threatening car accident.
However, you can take steps to protect yourself while driving, such as:
- Performing vehicle maintenance if your car was idle during the lockdown
- Testing your brakes, headlights, and tire pressure before you get back on the road
- Wearing a seatbelt every time you are in the car
- Obeying traffic laws
- Reporting reckless drivers to your local police or highway patrol
You can never control the actions another person may take while on the road. However, when you take steps to keep yourself safe behind the wheel, you can help prevent an accident whenever possible.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident after the coronavirus lockdown, you need compensation for your injuries. However, you may question whether it is worth hiring a personal injury attorney to help you manage your case.
Working with a skilled personal accident attorney is the best way to ensure that you receive fair compensation after a car accident. The attorneys at The Terry Law Firm will take the time to get to know you and your case, so we can offer you the legal counsel that best fits your needs.
After a serious injury, you cannot take any chances that could jeopardize your right to compensation. That is why you need to contact The Terry Law Firm car accident attorneys as soon as possible to start working on your case.
The personal injury lawyers at The Terry Law Firm understand the importance of your car accident claim, and we are prepared to work with you during this unprecedented pandemic. Our office is available to take your calls and answer your questions 24/7, so you can get help whenever you need it most. We also offer virtual consultations, so you can get the legal advice you need while staying safe in your home.
Don’t wait any longer for compensation. Contact The Terry Law Firm right now for a free consultation on your case.