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Cars and Coronavirus: less cars isn’t always safer

Since the pandemic began, there are fewer drivers on the road, which means less traffic and fewer accidents across the country. It seems like a win for most drivers as insurance rates plummet and gas prices dropped quickly over March and April.

However, the quarantine didn’t stop all car accidents. If anything, minor accidents decreased while vehicle fatalities stayed the same. It’s a puzzling contradiction since everyone knows that fewer cars mean safer roads, right?

An open invitation

It’s true that there is less traffic on almost every road in the country, primarily as more employees work remotely. However, the open highways are now an invitation for more reckless driving behaviors, such as speeding, distracted driving and lack of focus.

An empty road shouldn’t lead to more troublesome driving techniques, but the statistics suggest it does. According to the National Safety Council, Kentucky has seen a 10.9% increase in crash-related fatalities since 2019. With these startling statistics, it begs the question of how drivers can protect themselves during this pandemic.

First, obey speed limits, even when no one is around. Speeding often leads to car accidents and more severe injuries among victims, so take your foot off the gas pedal this summer. Also, restrict your driving overall. While states ease restrictions, you will still want to stay home as much as possible and only drive when necessary.

Third, model the driving behaviors you want others to follow. If you don’t want others to text and drive, you can’t either. If you don’t want other drivers to drive tired, you shouldn’t either. Be the role model that other drivers can look up to.

Finally, be a defensive driver because some drivers will never stay as vigilant as you. If you are a defensive driver, you will react appropriately during accidents and reduce your risks for severe injuries in the future.

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