Despite quarantines, curfews, and stay-at-home advisories, fatal accidents are up in Ohio, WSYX News reported earlier this month. Across the state of Ohio, fatal accidents are up more than 5% compared to last year. In Franklin County, fatal accidents are up about 13% over last year.
These numbers are alarming considering the number of people staying home from work and school during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of the first of December, 105 fatal accidents had been reported in Franklin County, up from 92 fatal accidents in the same period in 2019.
The City of Columbus is certainly aware of the magnitude of the problem. On their Vision Zero Columbus website, they monitor vehicle crashes, bicycle crashes, pedestrian crashes, and motorcycle crashes. However, deaths are happening at an alarming rate despite these stay-at-home initiatives.
This is not just a local issue. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that nationally, during the first half of 2020, the number of traffic deaths per mile driven went up, despite Americans driving a lot less in the first six months of the year. The reason for this disturbing rise in fatal accidents is likely due to:
- A certain amount of people engaged in their usual careless habits despite stay-at-home orders, and;
- Motorists driving at unsafe speeds with fewer vehicles being on the roadways.
The spike in traffic deaths has been a disturbing side-effect of this national pandemic.
Who Is Liable For COVID-Era Car Accidents?
Although every accident has its own unique set of circumstances, many of the car accidents we are seeing in 2020 involve gross negligence and disregard for the rules of the road and the safety of others. Recklessness and negligence may involve driving at high speeds and running red lights or operating a vehicle while distracted by cell phones or while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Protecting Your Rights and Future
Protect yourself and your passengers by knowing and following the speed limits, never driving while impaired or fatigued, and not driving while distracted by cell phones. Taking your eyes or mind off the wheel for even a couple of seconds can result in life-changing tragedies. Also, make sure you have plenty of insurance — not just the minimum required by the state. An estimated 1 out of 8 drivers in Ohio are operating without insurance, and many drivers have just the minimum. Uninsured/Underinsured (UM/UIM) Insurance protects you and your family when injured by someone else who is uninsured or underinsured.
Get Legal Help Following a Columbus Car Accident
GBM Law is here to help and offer offers a free consultation to evaluate your legal rights following an accident. Our Columbus car accident lawyers will answer your questions and explain your legal options to file a personal injury claim. As with every case, if we represent you, we will never charge any legal fees unless we recover money for you. Call us at 614-222-4444 for your free consultation.