With fewer cars on the road because of stay-at-home orders and recommendations issued in response to COVID-19, there have been fewer road crashes. The reduction in number of crashes, however, has not decreased in proportion to the reduction in number of vehicles on the road. And, as roads become less crowded with vehicles, many drivers exceed the speed limit at dangerous levels. The crashes that occur are often severe because speed is the biggest determinant of serious injury and mortality.
While there are currently fewer cars on the road, the number of pedestrians and bicyclists on the road has increased significantly. It has become clearer than ever before that roads do not belong to vehicles alone but rather are shared spaces for cars, pedestrians, cyclists, scooters and other modes of transportation.
Because of the recommendation to keep at least 6 feet from others, people walk and bike ride in the street to maintain this distance. In addition, while some drivers have become more aware and careful of pedestrians and bicyclists, others are distracted or speed and do not focus on the pedestrians and cyclists who are out in greater than normal numbers.
Emergency rooms are currently crowded and stretched trying to help those struggling with COVID-19. It is now more important than ever to use good judgment when out on the roads to avoid the need for a visit to the Emergency Room.
Below are some tips and helpful reminders for you as you navigate the roads during these unusual times.