If you live in Encinitas or in another part of San Diego County, you have likely been staying home as much as possible for the last number of weeks. All Californians are required to stay home “except to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care, or go to an essential job,” according to the state’s stay-home order. The order is in place until further notice, and it first took effect on March 19, 2020. While anyone who has an essential job—and thus must drive to work—or needs to leave the house for food or medicine is still at risk of being injured in a motor vehicle crash, it looks like that risk is significantly lower. Indeed, according to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, since the stay-home order took effect, motor vehicle collision rates have dropped significantly.
We want to say more about the lowered risk of an auto accident during the pandemic, and to discuss what you should do if you are involved in a crash at this time.
Fewer Motor Vehicle Crashes With Lower Traffic Rates
More Californians are staying home as Governor Newsom’s order requires, which means that fewer vehicles are on the roads. According to the Los Angeles Times article, the stay-at-home order is believed to “have reduced vehicle collisions on California roadways by roughly half,” based on data from a new survey conducted by UC Davis. That survey suggests that “about 15,000 fewer collisions per month and 6,000 fewer injury accidents per month” have occurred in the state. Those accident and injury reductions coincide with a decline in California roadway traffic by approximately 60%.
In particular, the total number of drunk driving accidents has gone down significantly. That reduction in accident rates likely is due not only to the reduction in traffic on the roadways, but also to the closure of bars and restaurants in the state. Even if this pattern continues, however, researchers believe that the number of lives saved by the lower rate of motor vehicle collisions will not statistically make up for the number of lives lost due to COVID-19.
What You Should Know if You are Involved in a Traffic Collision
Fewer traffic accidents are happening in California, but they have not been totally eradicated. Given that many Californians still must drive to essential jobs, and must get behind the wheel to pick up necessities or to care for loved ones, collisions are still happening. Yet filing a motor vehicle accident claim may have some complications that potential plaintiffs should anticipate. For example:
- Seeking medical attention may be more difficult, given that you may have concerns about putting yourself at risk of exposure to COVID-19 by visiting a doctor’s office or a walk-in clinic or emergency department. Yet being assessed by a healthcare provider is essential for having a strong case.
- Insurance adjusters may be delayed. While the California stay-home order allows essential businesses like insurance companies to remain operational, many have delays due to complications pertaining to in-person investigations.
- Courts across the state are closed to all but emergency matters, and as such, you may have to wait for a court date if you file an injury lawsuit. However, your car accident lawyer can still get started on your claim today.
Contact an Encinitas Car Accident Lawyer
If you need assistance with your claim, an Encinitas car accident attorney can help. Contact the Walton Law Firm today.
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