Recent motor vehicle crash data released by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles in Florida showed 17,500 fewer collisions in April than at the same time last year. This trend may be mostly due to the coronavirus restrictions and quarantines enacted in March to help prevent the spread of the virus. With fewer vehicles on the roadways, traffic counts plummeted, as did related collisions and fatalities.
Reversal of Dangerous Trend of Traffic Collisions
The significance of this drop reflects on how there is generally a spike in crashes during this time of year because of spring breakers coming to enjoy the Sunshine State’s beaches and entertainment attractions. Because of safer-at-home orders all around the United States during this typically busy season, March alone experienced a 25 percent decrease.
This trend continued into April when percentages decreased by 50 percent compared to previous years during the same period. St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay, and other hotspots and counties have all reported a similar reduction in crash numbers.
Areas like Pinellas and Hillsborough were already trending lower in collisions and traffic fatalities on their roadways over the past few years and are proud of this hugely improved county statistic. Overall, the reported 16,191 accidents in April 2020 equated to less than half of the previous 33,692 in April 2019.
Transportation agencies point out that with fewer drivers out and about, reduced opportunities for irresponsibility behind the wheel means fewer instances of tragic consequences.
How Quarantine Dropped Florida’s Traffic Crash Numbers
It isn’t only a lack of motorists that are contributing to the improved crash data. With many restaurants and bars ordered to shut down, the decreased risk of drunk driving also influenced the decline in traffic accidents. Additionally, the transition from traditional work environments to home offices meant fewer instances of road rage or distracted driving during morning and evening work commutes.
Despite all the promising statistics, other types of dangerous driving habits are on the rise, namely speeding. With wide-open roads and minimal traffic, some drivers are developing a case of a lead foot. Speeding has crept up by nearly 7 percent since April, according to FHSMV data recorded from all over the state. St. Petersburg has managed to avoid this trend, but the Miami Herald found that the Tampa Bay area had a 7 percent increase in speeding citations.
Future of Florida Motor Vehicle Accidents Post-COVID
A big question is how long this lowered traffic crash and fatality rate will last. Many transportation departments of local governments in Florida have wondered if employers will continue to allow remote work, allowing employees to remain off the road instead of being stuck in morning commutes to the office.
Workers able to continue working from home despite Florida’s lifting lockdown orders would also mean less local traffic during lunch hours. Having children enrolled in distance learning programs instead of attending traditional in-person classes would also help reduce the number of buses and parents on the road to drop off and pick up at local schools every day.
These changes would not affect overall plans for the continued focus on improving highways, bike lanes, and pedestrian areas that experience traffic impacts. In fact, it would likely make it easier to complete these projects without so many vehicles on the road.
Let Professional Car Accident Attorneys Handle Your Crash Claim
At Marsalisi Law, we are by your side through every step of your claim and prioritize your wellbeing and rights above all else when seeking the compensation you deserve after a life-changing car or motorcycle accident. If you or someone you care about suffered injuries after experiencing a car accident in the St. Petersburg area, please contact our firm right away. It is vital to take immediate steps to safeguard your recovery and pursue needed compensation to help you heal.
At Marsalisi Law, we focus on your welfare and do not expect payment until you get compensation. Because our representation is contingency-based, you do not have to add legal fees to the long list of upfront accident-related expenses on your plate. Attorney Frank P. Marsalisi has been recognized as Top 40 Under 40 in the National Trial Lawyers Association.
Whether you speak Spanish or English, Frank P. Marsalisi is fluent in both and will be able to understand your concerns about your case and clearly answer your questions. Contact our office today at (727) 800-5052 to get the help you need and start the journey to financial, emotional, and physical healing.
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