10 Mar 2021
Fatal Car Accidents Increase in Tampa During the Pandemic
Posted By Darrigo & Diaz
The coronavirus pandemic has led to fewer cars on Tampa roadways, making room for speeders and reckless drivers.
At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, three people in Tampa were accused of drag racing and arrested for driving as fast as 85 mph in a 45 mph zone. Soon after, a motorcycle going at least 80 mph in a 35 mph zone struck a pedestrian, killing both him and the driver.
Were they isolated incidents? Hardly. In fact, it’s just two examples on a long list of documented instances illustrating how dramatically driver behavior has shifted since the coronavirus was declared a public health emergency in March 2020.
While fewer Floridians have been on the roads in the last 12 months, the number of fatal crashes has increased by 20% since the pandemic started.
Why fatal car accidents are increasing in Tampa
Fewer cars are on Tampa roadways
- A study done by the American Society of Civil Engineers found that by the end of March, traffic in 212 sites studied across Florida had dropped by an average of 47.5% compared to March 2019.
- The study, which relied on Florida Department of Transportation data, included 123 urban roads and 89 rural roads.
- The decrease was not isolated to Florida. Traffic nationwide droppedby 41% compared with pre-pandemic volumes, according to a report by The Washington Post citing transportation data firm Inrix.
Drivers are making dangerous, risky decisions on the road
- Distracted driving rates have significantly increased since March 2020. Data from Zendrive, found that 57% of all car accidents during the pandemic involved phone use at least 5 seconds before impact.
- A NHTSA study found that between March 2020 and December 2020, nearly 65% of seriously or fatally injured road users tested positive for at least one active drug, including alcohol, cannabis or opioids. The number marked a dramatic increase from the previous six months when the number of drivers testing positive was just under 51 percent. The spike could be attributed to the growing number of adults turning to drugs and alcohol during the pandemic.
- But of all bad traffic behaviors, excessive speed was the preferred choice among the worst pandemic drivers. In some of the most congested areas of the country, average speeds increased by as much as 250%.
Car accidents in Tampa are becoming more fatal
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the total number of car accidents in Florida dropped by 401,516 crashes between 2019 and 2020. Although car accidents were less frequent, they were more fatal in 2020.
In Florida, preliminary data shows 3,286 people died in car crashes in 2020, up from 3,191 a year prior.
Meanwhile, crash statistics from local transportation departments and the NHTSA have only substantiated the trend on a national scale. Other statistics show that U.S. roads have also become more deadly.
During the first nine months of 2020, an estimated 28,190 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes, an increase of about 4.6 % compared with the 26,941 fatalities reported in the first nine months of 2019.
The biggest jump in traffic deaths occurred over the summer months. When compared to the previous year, traffic fatalities spiked 13.1% during July, August and September 2020.
What to do after a fatal car accident in Tampa?
Call Darrigo & Diaz immediately at 813-774-3341
The loss of a loved one is one of the most traumatic and devastating experiences that anyone will ever have to endure. But when your loved one is killed as the result of someone else’s negligence, the pain and distress can be unbearable.
If you lose a loved one in a fatal car accident in Tampa, the last thing you want to think about is the legal process to follow. However, the reality is that it is extremely important to contact and hire an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Tampa immediately. An experienced wrongful death lawyer in Tampa will know how to protect your rights and will fight to ensure your family receives the justice, support, and compensation you deserve and need.
When you contact Darrigo & Diaz, we will quickly show that we care about you and the circumstances that led to your losses. We will work hard to tell your story and make sure that we pursue justice on behalf of you and your loved one. Our experienced wrongful death lawyers know that there is no amount of money that can make up for the loss of a loved one. Still, our justice system allows families to pursue civil actions against those who have behaved in a way it led to their loss. Darrigo & Diaz will fight to ensure you obtain the full amount of compensation you are owed.
If you lost a loved one in a fatal car accident in Tampa, we’re here to help.
Call Darrigo & Diaz immediately at 813-774-3341
And, if you prefer to not visit our office, you don’t have to! As Tampa’s e-firm, we offer potential and existing clients the option to meet with us and hire over the phone, via video conferencing, or through email.