Returning to Normal Life and Dangerous Driving Habits Could Be a Recipe for Serious Car Accidents
The 35% drop in motor vehicle traffic in 2020 due to the COVID-19 business closures and lockdowns has safety advocates concerned about the possibility of a sharp rise in traffic accidents due to bad driving habits. The preliminary nationwide crash statistics show that fatal motor vehicle accidents have increased by 4.6 percent according to LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM.
Most reports cited on the Montlick Law Blog and this news story show that speeding is one of the reasons why fatal traffic accidents have increased in the past 12 months. According to this news report, the California Highway Patrol issued over 4,850 citations for "speeding more than 100 miles an hour" from September 1, 2020, to October 31, 2020. This was a 93% increase over the same period in 2019.
Distracted driving is another reason for the increased number of fatal accidents. Zendrive is an app that collects smartphone data that is used to predict driving behavior. The company issued a report that states drivers were using their cellphones in 57% of all traffic accidents in the United States in 2020. The report also found that drivers checked their cellphones 17% more often while driving than before the pandemic.
Companies have struggled to create policies that prevent job-related motor vehicle accidents. One of the issues involves the lack of OSHA standards concerning motor vehicle safety. According to the news article, it is very difficult for employers to monitor the actions of employees who are not working at the facility or being directly supervised. Companies struggle to ensure that their workers are safe drivers while using company vehicles because companies are not able to monitor their employees' driving behavior.
According to a National Safety Council, there are a few road safety tips available for employers to help stop certain forms of distracted driving. For example, smartphone applications can be downloaded onto a company cellphone that recognizes when employees are driving company vehicles and prohibits drivers from texting, emailing, and other improper phone usages while permitting "mission-critical apps." Other effective tools for employers include cell phone blocking technologies, strong cell phone policies, onboard cameras, and technologies that report vehicle speed, braking, and other driving behavior metrics.
It is well documented that most accidents can be prevented with a little extra care and safety education. Since 1984, Montlick & Associates has been dedicated to keeping children and families safe on the roadway. Our commitment runs deep through our extensive, award-winning public service programs that provide people the information they need to avoid injuries. To learn about our Don't Drink and Drive Campaign, Child Passenger Safety Programs, Booster Seat Campaign and much more, visit montlick.com and click on “community service,” or simply click here. You can also learn more about one of our newest driver and passenger safety programs by visiting iridesafe.com.
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