Although most U.S. cities are reporting a slowdown in traffic accidents due to coronavirus-related “stay at home” orders, some regions have witnessed a slight uptick in the number of serious car crashes – particularly those involving pedestrians. This week, reporters at the Daily Business Review for Law.com collected opinions on the subject from various attorneys around South Florida, including our founding attorney Scott Schlesinger.
While there is not enough data to tell how the coronavirus has affected South Florida roads just yet, some lawyers shared that they’ve already received up to 30% more calls from those injured in parking lot and food delivery incidents. Even if car accident rates are eventually reduced across Florida, many drivers and pedestrians are feeling the pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic, letting their anxiety and stress impact their driving habits.
As Attorney Schlesinger shared with the Daily Business Review, “You’ve got people that are distracted… I am seeing people that are driving a little faster and a little more aggressively. There is a recipe for danger there.” Attorney Schlesinger also noted that bringing a car accident case comes with unique challenges during this unprecedented crisis: “We can try to focus on folks that are the most in need and prioritize them, but it’s hard to push things through the system when the system is very much on life support and judges have, to be honest with you, a lot more important things to do.”
How to Avoid Driving Distracted
Coronavirus pandemic or not, distracted driving is a serious phenomenon that already claims thousands of lives every year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), at least 2,841 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2018 – yet it’s estimated that almost a third of all Americans still regularly text and drive or talk on their cell phones.
Of course, distracted driving isn’t just about mobile devices. Cognitive and emotional distractions can lead to car accidents too, including anxiety and worry. To avoid hurting pedestrians, other drivers, and yourself out on the road, it’s important to keep your mind as clear as possible before getting behind the wheel.
Some ways you can improve focus and clarity on the road:
- Put your cell phone out of sight and reach, so that you are not tempted to use it or check it at stoplights.
- Listen to soothing music while you drive: Studies have shown that music choice can affect your driving performance.
- Avoid reading news posts about COVID-19 before getting behind the wheel.
- Do some deep breathing if you find yourself getting anxious before or during your drive.
- Pay close attention to pedestrians, especially in parking lots.
- Always check your mirrors when backing up your car, even if you don’t think anyone is there.
At Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A., we hope you and your family stay safe and well during this crisis. If you do have a car accident case, rest assured that our team will listen to your needs with the utmost care and respect for your situation. With a 60-year tradition of success in a range of personal injury cases, we’re committed to fighting on behalf of our clients and securing fair compensation when they’ve been harmed by negligence.
For more information about our legal services, contact our team today at (954) 467-8800 or submit our online form.