During lockdowns, there were fewer cars and trucks on the roads. We might think this would cause fewer collisions, but in fact the opposite is true. The National Safety Council reported a 14% jump in fatal car collisions nationwide in 2020 and a sharp increase in commercial truck crashes, too.
Reasons for More Truck and Car Collisions in Miami-Dade County
There are many reasons why truck and car collisions may continue to increase, even as lockdowns end:
- Speeding: The Washington Post reported that more drivers were speeding the less traffic there was on the roads. The emptier roads may have tempted some drivers to go faster.
- Driver distraction: More studies need to be completed on how stress has been affecting drivers, but there is plenty of data to suggest many of us felt more stress during COVID-19 and mental health suffered due to the pandemic, too. It’s not unreasonable to think this may affect driving.
- More tourists: As lockdowns ended, tourists flocked to Miami-Dade County and other popular destinations. This meant more traffic and more drivers who were not familiar with local streets, which could increase the risk of collisions.
- Fatigued drivers: In 2020, the FMCSA (the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) waived working hour limits for truck drivers. While the measure is temporary, making truck drivers essential workers and reducing the measures to protect them from fatigue could put all drivers on the roads at risk.
- Truck companies are having trouble filling jobs: With so many people working from home and a sudden increased demand for drivers, companies are having a hard time finding enough truck drivers. This may push some companies to accept less-experienced and less-trained applicants, just to fill job positions.
- A sudden demand for delivery services: During the pandemic, more consumers were relying on home deliveries for groceries, take-out, household products, clothing, and everything else as lockdowns were in place and some businesses were closed to in-person shopping. Some consumers have continued to rely on delivery for convenience or to reduce exposure. This has meant more delivery drivers on the roads and more pressure on those drivers to meet every-increasing quotas.
- More deliveries may make it less likely that trucks are maintained: More research needs to be done into this, but it makes sense that if there are more deliveries needed, there may not be as much time to properly maintain trucks because all vehicles are being pressed into service.
- Truck drivers unfamiliar with local streets: As delivery companies and truck carriers hire more new drivers, these drivers may be heading to unfamiliar neighborhoods and areas, where they are not familiar with local hazards and streets. This can create a risk for the drivers.
No matter why traffic collisions in Miami-Dade County and across the nation are on the rise, we all deserve safe streets. No-one gets behind the wheel expecting to be in a serious collision.
If you have been injured in a truck or car collision, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation with a Miami-Dade County truck and car collision injury claims attorney. Our legal team has more than six decades of combined experience and we work with a network of expert witnesses, accident reconstruction experts, and other professionals to bring plaintiffs answers and compensation after an injury. Speak with us today to find out whether you have a claim.