Gatherings during holidays is a great opportunity to connect with friends and family but with the coronavirus pandemic, you may need to adjust your holiday plans to keep everyone safe. During the quarantine period, Americans have been driving less and the roads are emptier; however, despite these reductions in travel, roads have become more lethal.

Car accidents during the coronavirus pandemic 

According to data released by the National Safety Council, there was a 14% rise in car accident fatality rates per mile driven in March 2020 despite the total number of miles driven dropping by 18.6% compared to 2019. In a similar vein, through the first three months of 2020, Texas recorded an increase of 6% in the number of roadway deaths.  

So even with the massive drop in traffic during the pandemic, Texas continues to record an increase in speed-related car accidents. According to Laura Ryan, a member of the Texas Transportation Commission (TxDOT), many people are taking advantage of the open roads and driving at high speed. If you suffer injuries in a car accident due to a reckless driver, contact an experienced Houston car accident attorney immediately. 

Newest regulations for people gatherings

New regulations for people gatherings during the pandemic have also contributed to the change in road travel patterns. With the worsening of the pandemic, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has published guidelines to help reduce infections and fatalities. According to the CDC, several factors increase the risk of infection and spread of COVID-19:

  • Exposure during travel – travel terminals like bus stations, train stations, airports, gas stations, and rest stops expose travelers to the virus.
  • With the increase in the community levels of COVID-19, gatherings and group travels are no longer safe.
  • Gatherings that last longer pose more risks of COVID-19 infections.
  • Location of gatherings matter – gathering in a poorly-ventilated area increases the risk of infection. 

During travels and overnight stays, the CDC recommends the following measures: 

  • Wearing a mask, especially in public settings like when using public transportation and when around other people. 
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are not from your household. 
  • Avoiding contact with sick persons.
  • Avoiding touching sensitive parts of your body, including your eyes, mouth, and nose.

Thanksgiving travel and car accidents in Houston

Thanksgiving is the period when we gather with friends and family to give thanks for our immense blessings. To make this happen, 48.7% of Americans travel to different destinations. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), more than 89% of Americans prefer driving to other transport forms during holidays. To compare, driving during the Thanksgiving weekend is more dangerous than average weekends as the holiday weekend sees an increase of 19% increase in road accidents.

You might be shocked to learn that Texas ranks as the deadliest state for Thanksgiving travel in the entire U.S. Houston, the largest city in Texas, rates as the most dangerous city for Thanksgiving travels. Over three years, Texas has had an average of 3,516 deaths through car accidents during the Thanksgiving period.  The odds of getting involved in a road accident are higher during this holiday season. Consider researching ahead for an experienced Houston car accident attorney, just in case. 

Likely impact of the pandemic on Thanksgiving travel 

Despite reduced driving during the quarantine period, the crash rate is going up in many cities. Evidence indicates that in the general absence of traffic jams this year, many drivers are getting reckless on the roads and indeed, speed is the leading cause and determinant of crash severity. If this trend in crash rates continues, the Thanksgiving period may record higher crash and fatality numbers.

Where a Houston car accident attorney comes in 

When a car accident occurs, especially during the Thanksgiving rush, it may not be easy to identify the liable parties, given that many parties are quick to deny fault. That’s why you should consider contacting a knowledgeable Houston car accident attorney after the incident. An experienced attorney will:

  • Investigate the cause of the accident.
  • Identify the liable parties.
  • Gather evidence.
  • Handle the insurance companies and insurance adjusters on your behalf.
  • Help you seek full and fair compensation. 

If you or your loved one suffers injuries in an accident this holiday season, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Houston car accident attorney at the Johnson Garcia LLP law firm.