The number of car crashes is indeed plummeting due to lower traffic volumes on American roads, but the rate of car crashes is actually up in many cities — as are the injury and fatality rates for both drivers and vulnerable users.
Evidence is beginning to emerge that absent traffic jams during the coronavirus crisis, many drivers are getting more reckless. And because speed is the number one predictor of crash severity, the proportion of people dying per collision is on the rise in many communities. It’s an important asterisk that’s largely missing from media reports about the COVID-19 outbreak’s effect on our streets, and one that should prompt leaders of these cities to consider other ways to slow down cars through emergency modifications to road design.
In Austin it hasn’t made the local news yet, but preliminary numbers from the Texas capital’s traffic data portal point to a rise in traffic injuries — despite a slight dip in collisions.
In March, 2019, Austin police reported 450 crashes that left 99 Austinites injured, including one pedestrian. This March, by contrast, had just 381 collisions, but they resulted in 111 injuries — and this time around, three of them were walkers.
The database doesn’t offer good stats on fatalities, and there’s good reason to be skeptical of waning collision totals during a pandemic, when police are at least theoretically less likely to respond to car crashes that don’t hurt anyone. But the rise in injury numbers are alarming nonetheless.
If you do get involved in a serious car accident the houston car accident lawyers at The Law Office of Shane R. Kadlec can help. Please call (281) 643-2000 today for a FREE Case Review. #CarAccidentHoust #CarAccidentAttorneysHouston