Over the last two months the coronavirus pandemic has kept many Texans at home. As one would expect, that has reduced traffic on Texas roads. However, the stay at home orders did little to curb traffic accidents.
The Houston Chronicle reported that 241 people died on Texas roads in March. Traffic accidents were down only 21% when compared to 2019. The decrease was only seen in the latter part of March. Yet, the total fatalities still exceeded those in 2018. In fact, both Dallas and Galveston counties recorded more traffic deaths in March this year than in March of 2018 and 2019.
“I would have expected the number to go down more,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said. “But we tend to have a bad driving culture in our region and less traffic doesn’t mean safer drivers are out, sadly. We still see people taking unnecessary trips, and the fact we are still seeing high numbers (of fatalities) is worrisome.”
Texas motor vehicle accidents killed at least two people every day this past March. This suggests even the coronavirus pandemic will not end the state’s 19-year streak of least one traffic fatality every single day of the year.
Accidents Are Expected To Increase When Stay At Home Orders Lifted
Sheriff Gonzalez believes that even more Texas motorists have been engaging in reckless driving behaviors. This is due to the belief that Texas roadways would be less congested. “Everybody that takes to the roadways thinks there is nobody out there and there are bicyclists and pedestrians,” he said. “Some of the habits do not break whether there is a pandemic or not.”
Steps To Take If You Are In A Traffic Accident
A series of important steps can be taken right after the accident to help you ensure that you protect all your legal rights:
- The first step you should take after an accident is to make sure you are safe. Get any medical assistance that you may need.
- Next, call the police and get a police report made at the scene. If the police issue you a traffic violation ticket, it is your duty to sign it. Signing doesn’t imply that you are at fault. Remember to get the police officer’s name and identification details.
- Collect information about the other driver involved. Including the driver’s name, phone number, license plate number, and insurance information.
- Take notes of the road condition at the time of the wreck. Look around and if you find any witnesses at the scene who can support your understanding of how the collision happened. Get their contact information.
- Use your mobile phone or camera to take pictures of all the damages caused to all the vehicles. As well as the scene including the street layout, traffic signs, road conditions, weather conditions, etc. If possible, take pictures of the injuries caused by the wreck.
Inform your insurance company.
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