With a lot fewer people driving around Washington, D.C. lately due to the pandemic, you'd think there would be a noticeable decrease in car accidents. And technically, there is, as the number of car accidents, in general, has been reduced. But sadly, deadly car accidents are almost as common as they were when people weren't expected to stay home. Here's a look at the latest statistics on Washington, D.C. car accidents.
An Overall Reduction in Car Accidents
The good news is that the total number of car accidents in this area has dropped dramatically since March. In fact, in Virginia, car accidents in March and April of this year dropped by 78% compared to the same months last year. The number of injuries during that time period also dropped, going from about 5,600 in March and April of 2019 to just over 1,000 this March and April.
Similarly, in Maryland, the number of car accidents dropped from about 3,100 during March and April 2019 to about 1,000 during the same time period this year. That's a 68% reduction. And in Washington, D.C., traffic has been reduced by about 50 percent. That alone tends to mean fewer car accidents, which should mean fewer people have a chance of being injured or killed on the road. But while car accidents and injuries have decreased quite a bit this year, deaths due to car accidents haven't seen the same dramatic decline.
The Rate of Fatal Car Accidents Remains High
Police in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. have all said that fatal car accidents haven't decreased as much as they would have liked to see. More specifically, in Virginia, the death rate due to car accidents dropped by 35%, as there were 39 deaths in March and April of 2020 compared to 60 deaths during the same time period in 2019. And so far, the number of traffic deaths from January 1 to April 28 is just 2 less than last year, as 237 people died during this time period last year and 235 have died in Virginia car accidents this year.
While that is a reduction, it's not as dramatic a drop as injuries and overall crashes. Police believe the reason for this is speed. Since most people are home, there are fewer traffic jams during rush hour, so people are driving faster. No longer are most car accidents the minor rear-end collisions you typically see when cars are practically at a standstill on the freeway. Now they're more serious crashes from people driving faster than usual.
Police in Maryland have noticed the same pattern on the Beltway. As a result, they've had to write a lot more speeding tickets lately, with many of those tickets going to drivers who were going over 100 mph! So police in this area have asked people to slow down to avoid causing serious—and often fatal—car accidents during the pandemic.
If you've been injured in a car accident in this area, you need a D.C. personal injury attorney to represent you as you seek compensation for the related expenses. Contact an attorney today to discuss your case!