What to Expect on the Roads Post COVID-19
What to Expect on the Roads Post COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching ripple effects across not just California, but the entire globe. The way that people live, work and schedule recreation and downtime has changed in a matter of a few short months. However, as states slowly open back up, important implications exist for anyone who might be returning to the road in the weeks ahead.
During the pandemic, traffic in Los Angeles and San Francisco areas fell between 30-40%, with indications that the post-COVID trends will return that traffic and most likely increase it according to the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE). In Wuhan, where a large portion of the population was affected early in the pandemic, life has mostly returned to normal as reported in the New York Times. However, the city provides a good case study for some of the accident risks that can occur as people return to the roads.
The road back to ‘life as usual’ includes more vehicles on the road, a greater increase in traffic and accidents and people reluctant to use public transportation All of these factors, and others, should be taken into consideration when thinking about how you’ll move forward and reduce your risk of being hurt in a serious California vehicle accident.
In this article, you’ll learn more about how to get back on the road and what the new and changed driving environment might bring as a result of the pandemic.
China’s Example: What Can We Learn?
One of the first countries to lift its lockdowns was China, which experienced a near-immediate spike in motor vehicle traffic. Rush-hour congestion in fact, achieved pre-pandemic averages in Beijing and Shanghai. Some environmental advocates have called for improving safety across public transit, but it’s likely that people feeling confident enough to return to the use of public transportation could take several months.
Options such as changing the operations that will decrease crowding, improve ventilation on buses and other forms of public transit, and provide equipment for transit workers, could go a long way in helping to make people feel more comfortable taking these trips. With the confidence in public transportation relatively low and people reluctant to rely on buses or trains, more cars are expected to be on the road in the near future.
As you consider going back to the regular use of your car, keep in mind that the traffic speeds during the morning and evening commute have increased significantly during the stay at home orders. In fact, in Los Angeles, average speeds increased an average of 48% during morning and evening commutes while fewer cars have been on the road according to ABC News. This means drivers who continued operating their cars during the pandemic, may anticipate less congestion going forward and will feel more comfortable driving at faster speeds.
As the volume of cars increases in the most congested areas, this could result in more accidents particularly as people re-adjust to the traffic and occurrence of collisions that was common before the pandemic.
Expect More Road Trips
In addition to increased traffic due to more cars on the road, people, and families in particular, are ready to get back to their vacations. If the Memorial Day weekend is any indicator, people are eager to get on the road for day trips and weekend getaways.
Many people have reported experiencing cabin fever, meaning road trips will likely increase in the weeks and months as California and the nation slowly begin to re-open. Heading out for a day trip could mean facing more traffic and greater likelihood of being involved in an accident. If your family is contemplating road trips and getting out of the house or rescheduling that vacation sooner rather than later, other families are also thinking the same thing.
The anticipation from travel experts is Americans will opt for experiences that are closer to home using road trips with their immediate family. In fact, a study from The Points Guy shows that over 30% of Americans intend to travel this summer despite travel restrictions that are still in place.
Travelers wary of public transportation or traveling by plane are opting to drive or rent RVs so they can squeeze in their summer vacation. As plans to re-open post COVID take place, it’s beneficial to keep in mind that you may experience increased traffic, and heightened potential for accidents.
On the open roads
Many people are happy to get back on the open road though many may not be aware of the changes that may be taking place post-COVID. As you head out, be prepared for crowded side streets and busy freeways to help avoid potential accidents.
If you have already been seriously hurt in a vehicle accident, schedule a consultation with an experienced and trusted California personal injury lawyer. Dunnion Law has achieved record-setting verdicts on behalf of our clients. When we take a case, we do so with the commitment and dedication you deserve. Learn more about the cases we’ve helped our clients win.