The COVID-19 pandemic changed life in many ways for Michiganders, some more surprising than others. If you were still commuting in the early stages of the pandemic, you likely noticed there were fewer vehicles on Michigan roads than we’re all used to.
Many of us assumed that fewer vehicles on our roads would be a good thing for road safety. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Instead of making our roads safer, less traffic actually led to an increase in Michigan car accidents.
An Increase in Michigan Crashes
We don’t have the official final crash tally for 2020 just yet, but the numbers as of November 29, 2020 show that crashes increased 7% from the year before, despite approximately 18% less traffic on our roads.
Why Were There More Crashes?
Safety experts believe the increase in Michigan crashes is the result of speeding because of less traffic. With fewer vehicles competing for space, drivers appear to be more likely to drive faster or more recklessly.
When drivers go faster, they’re also more likely to lose control of their vehicles and crash. Crashes that happen at higher speeds lead to more serious injuries than those occurring at lower speeds.
Michigan authorities have reported that the number of citations given for excessive speeding, defined as traveling 25 miles per hour or more above the speed limit, has doubled in 2020 from 2019.
The Ever-Present Danger of Speeding
Over the past 20 years, speeding has been a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all traffic deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Speeding isn’t just exceeding a posted speed limit; it also includes driving too fast for given conditions, such as inclement weather, low road visibility, and heavy traffic.
How to Avoid the Need for Speed
Speeding-related crashes are preventable. We can keep ourselves and others safe by keeping a few tips in mind:
Leave early. We’re more likely to speed when we’re running late. To avoid the temptation, create a habit of arriving at your destination 10-15 minutes ahead of schedule.
Check your route before departing. Before you put your vehicle into drive, check your route on your GPS or navigational app. If travel times on your normal route are delayed, see if there is a quicker route available.
Accept that sometimes you’ll just be late. In some case, no matter how hard you try, you’re going to be late. Instead of racing against the clock, accept that you’ll be late. If it’s a rare occurrence, the person you’re meeting with will likely understand.
When Another Driver Causes Your Crash
Though you can do everything in your power to avoid speeding, you can’t control what other drivers do. However, injured motorists are fully within their rights to take legal action to get compensation when a negligent driver causes them harm.
At Fieger Law, our experienced Michigan car accident lawyers represent those injured through no fault of their own. We also offer free consultations, so if you’re considering taking legal action against a speeding driver, contact our team today to discuss your legal options.