When the COVID-19 pandemic started to spread across the country, stay-at-home orders kept a lot of people off the road. Lots of workplaces moved to temporary work-from-home status, getting rid of the morning and evening commutes for many workers. The crowded highways around cities like Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. suddenly became very quiet.
A year later, drivers are noticing the increase in traffic. Maybe the roads are not back to pre-pandemic levels but there are a lot more cars on the road compared to a year ago. With more drivers comes more driver errors, which leads to more car accidents.
Car Accidents in Philadelphia
According to a news report from WHYY, Philadelphia saw its worst year in recent history for fatal car accidents. From January 2020 to October 2020, there were an estimated 119 deaths caused by fatal auto accidents in Philadelphia. Not since 1997 has the city seen as many fatal crashes, where 137 people were killed.
Of those killed last year, about 60% were drivers or passengers and about 40% were cyclists or pedestrians. Philadelphia is a dangerous city for cyclists and pedestrians, with a higher rate of fatal accidents caused by cars compared to other major cities.
Increased Drinking and Driving Rates
Why were there so many car accidents with so many people being urged to stay home? One cause for increased fatal accidents may have been increased alcohol consumption. People who were staying home with bars and restaurants closed may have switched to drinking at home. After having too much to drink, drivers may have taken to the road to pick up something to eat from a drive-thru or to the store to buy more alcohol.
Open Roads and Higher Speeds
Another effect of fewer cars on the road meant that drivers were not slowed down by traffic. Drivers can reach higher speeds on empty streets but that does not mean they can stop any faster. At higher speeds, the distance to come to a safe stop increases significantly. A driver going 50 miles per hour through the city may not have time to react if a car suddenly comes out of a driveway ahead.
What to Do After an Injury Accidents
It may have been a long time since you thought about what happens after a car accident. After a Philadelphia car accident, the most important thing is your safety. If you are injured or anyone else is injured, call 9-1-1. Even if you think there may be a chance you have an injury, it is better to be safe than sorry. Many head, neck, and back injuries do not reveal themselves immediately. It may take hours or days before you realize you were injured. Getting treated quickly can make a big difference in your recovery.
After an accident, you generally have to report it to the state and your insurance company. If you suffered an injury because of the other driver’s dangerous driving, you may be able to claim damages from the negligent driver. A personal injury claim may allow you to recover damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of income potential
- Vehicle repairs
- Pain and suffering
Contact an experienced Philadelphia car accident attorney to file a claim to recover damages and financial compensation. To discuss your case with a member of our legal team, fill out an online case evaluation form or call (800) 529-6162 today.