One of the only silver linings to the Covid-19 pandemic was a decrease in daily road traffic and the benefits that came with it. Namely, less pollution and fewer car accident deaths. In April, for instance, New Jersey experienced only 29 traffic fatalities, which was the lowest April rate since 1968. April was the height of the stay-at-home orders, which meant far fewer cars on the road.
Unfortunately, we are no longer seeing the safety benefits of reduced traffic. According to a recent news report, traffic is still down in New Jersey, but the drivers who are on the road seem to be more dangerous and reckless.
In May and June, when the state began to reopen, there were 96 traffic fatalities. This number is consistent with rates from other years. The average May-June fatality rates for the last five years have been 99 deaths during the two-month period.
But here’s the problem: traffic deaths remain at average levels despite the fact that the amount of daily road travel is still significantly lower than normal (because many people continue to work from home). That means the same number of accidents among fewer drivers. A spokesman for the New Jersey State Police told news outlets that law enforcement continues to see the same dangerous behavior from drivers, including aggressive driving, tailgating and distracted driving.
It is more than disappointing to see so many New Jerseyans working hard to protect public health by wearing masks and social distancing, while at the same time driving in ways that greatly endanger the lives and health of others.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured (or worse) in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, please take the time to learn about your rights and legal options. Call our firm to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney today.