The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), recently provided an update on traffic safety during the national health crisis. The research team collected data from five locations, including Jacksonville, Florida, and Miami, Florida. The findings reported first-quarter data regarding Florida motor vehicle fatality rates. The data found that car accident fatality rates increased, even though the overall number of traffic accidents decreased during the past several years. Additionally, statistics showed an increased prevalence of drug and alcohol use among those who suffered serious or fatal injuries in accidents.
During the beginning of the COVID-19 public health emergency, driving patterns changed drastically, as many people lost their jobs or began working from home. The figures demonstrated that those who remained on the road during the crisis were engaged in riskier behavior. Some of the behavior included speeding, failure to wear seat belts, and driving while impaired. Compared to the previous six months, the proportion of those who tested positive for opioids or marijuana significantly increased during this time.
The NHTSA stressed the importance of seat belt use, as seat belts are one of the most critical safety features in vehicles. Ejection data shows that seat-belted occupants are far less likely to be thrown from a vehicle. The study indicated a decrease in seat belt use during the first period of the public health crisis. Although seat belt use increased slightly later on during the crisis, the overall number was below the level before the emergency.
Research suggests that individuals who fail to wear a seat belt often engage in other risky behaviors, such as driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Unsurprisingly, the drivers and passengers who tested positive for drugs or alcohol tended to use seat-belt less frequently. Similarly, the rate of drivers who were speeding before an accident was higher than before the COVID-19 crisis.
Overall, to-date the researchers reported that although the trip-taking frequency is lower than prior years, the extent of risky safety behaviors and fatal injuries are higher. The increase in impaired driving and speeding, indicate that more significant measures need to be taken to protect all road users in Florida. It is vital that those who have suffered injuries in a Florida accident, contact an attorney to discuss their rights and remedies.
Have You Suffered Injuries in a Florida Accident?
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries or died in a Florida car accident, the attorneys at the Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrada may be able to assist you. The attorneys at our law firm have extensive experience handling complex personal injury lawsuits. We handle Florida accident cases stemming from motor vehicle accidents, defective products, premises liability, medical malpractice, and wrongful death. We understand the devastating toll that these accidents can have on a person and their loved ones. As such, we work tirelessly to ensure that our clients recover the compensation that they deserve. Contact our law firm at 877-448-8585, to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney at our office.