COVID-19: Impacts on Driving Behavior and Lessons

The COVID-19 crisis has impacted our lives in countless ways. It has also changed our behaviors.  The following are some observations and suggestions.

Less Vehicles on the Road

There are far fewer automobiles on the road, but accidents still occur. In keeping with social-distancing regulations, police officers in some areas of the country will not respond to the scene of a crash unless there is an emergency. Without a police response, a police report will not be generated.

What to do if in a crash:

  • Take photographs of the property damage to your vehicle and all other involved automobiles;
  • Obtain a copy of the driver’s license of all other vehicle operators;
  • Photograph the license plates of all other involved vehicles;
  • Photograph all marking on the road caused by the collisions;
  • Take detailed notes of how the crash occurred when you safely arrive home;
  • Obtain the insurance information of the other drivers;
  • Be sure your car can be safely driven home (if not, call for assistance).

 Distracted and Reckless Driving

With less vehicles on the roads, some drivers think they can operate their automobiles with less attention. In some areas of the country, there has been a spike in distracted driving (driving while eating, fiddling with the radio, texting, etc.). With less congestion on the road, drivers are also speeding. Others are so distracted by the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic, that they have a hard time focusing on driving.  All of these things lead to crashes that seriously injure and kill people.

Here is the lesson:  During this crisis, only drive if necessary.  When driving, be vigilant—keep a constant lookout for the reckless acts of other drivers and pedestrians in the road.

What to Expect

We do not yet know when the crisis will end, nor do we yet fully appreciate how things will be when it does conclude. A Bloomberg Opinion columnist recently predicted that once the crisis is over, we may have more cars, trucks, and other vehicles on the road than ever, leading to more traffic jams and crashes than before the pandemic began. A flood of drivers on the road will certainly lead to more collisions.  We all need to be careful when we are “released” from the crisis.  Safety needs to be our first priority.

Be well, and if you have any questions, please contact us at reganfirm.com or 202-463-3030.