COVID-19: Fatal Car Crashes on the Rise in Minnesota
The state of Minnesota, as well as the rest of the United States, has been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. This unprecedented health crisis has led to drastic measures being taken, including stay-at-home orders mandated by the government. While this has undoubtedly lessened the amount of traffic on the roadways by as much as 72% across the United States, the number of fatal car accidents and reckless driving incidents has increased in many areas. All across the country, various state Departments of Transportation and law enforcement agencies have raised alarm bells about unsafe driving.
COVID-19 Fatal Crash Data
From Massachusetts to California, law enforcement officials have been baffled by the number of fatal car accidents and reckless driving incidents since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Why, when there is less traffic on the road, are there still serious car accidents?
From March 16th to April 7th of this year, there were 24 crashes and 28 road deaths in Minnesota. In 2019, there were only 12 crashes in 13 road deaths during the same time period. In 2018 for that same period, There were 13 crashes and 15 road deaths.
Why are Accidents on the Rise in Minnesota?
According to OTS Director Mike Hanson, “As traffic got lighter, these extreme speeds, these folks zipping in and out of traffic was much more pronounced, more aggressive.”
Authorities in Minnesota and throughout the country have cited an increase in speeding, careless driving, and blowing through red lights as the main causes of fatal car accidents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Apparently, many people view less traffic on the roadway as an opportunity to drive however they want.
Tips for Avoiding Accidents
As our economy begins to return to normal and more people hit the roadways for their summer travel, we want to recommend the following safety tips:
- Be aware of pedestrians and bicyclists. Many bicyclists and pedestrians have become accustomed to the roadways being less crowded, so watch out for them why you are doing your summer driving.
- Minimize distractions. Even if there is less traffic on the roadway, you still need to put the phone or any other electronic device down while you were driving.
- Do not speed. Less traffic on the roadway often leads people to drive above the speed limit. This is illegal and unsafe.
- Avoid driving if possible. The truth of the matter is that Minnesota, and the rest of the US, is still in the midst of a pandemic. If you can avoid driving and going out, you should do so.
What to Do if You Get in a Car Accident
If you or somebody you love is involved in a car accident, there are several steps you can take to ensure that you are cared for and that you receive the compensation you deserve.
- Seek medical assistance. Regardless of how minor or major your accident is, you need to seek medical assistance as soon as possible. This will ensure that you are taken care of by a medical professional while also establishing a link between your injuries and the car accident.
- Call 911. Nearly every car accident that occurs in Minnesota needs to be reported to the police. Insurance carriers usually require a police report in order to process a claim.
- Gather evidence. If it is safe to do so at the scene of an accident, use your smartphone to take pictures of any damages, injuries, causes to the crash, and more. Get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses as well as the license number and contact information of any other drivers involved.
- Speak to an attorney. If another person caused your car accident, speak to a skilled Minnesota car accident lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney will have the resources and experience necessary to conduct a full investigation into your claim and secure maximum compensation on your behalf.