Empty New York City streets and roads became an all-too-common sight over the past several months. Many saw it as a break from the usual by pausing reckless and careless driving on congested thoroughfares while New Yorkers adapted to the pandemic.
Sadly, the opposite occurred. Open roads motivated some drivers to race at breakneck speeds. That resulted in not only thousands of traffic citations but also serious and sometimes fatal accidents.
As more motor vehicles return to the road, the troubling trend continued with tragic consequences.
Serious and Fatal Traffic Accidents Are on the Rise
The rise in fatal traffic accidents this year has resulted in more people killed in motor vehicle crashes than all of last year. March and May were indicators of the growing danger, with accidents rising by 12 percent and 34 percent, respectively.
When roads grew to 80 percent capacity in June, fatalities subsequently skyrocketed by 22 percent compared to the same month in 2019. July brought no respite as deaths jumped 300 percent compared to the previous year.
Other signs point to the start of the lockdown in March when automated speed camera citations doubled from February’s numbers. The end of the lockdown did not end the dangers, as nearly 24,000 citations were issued as July ended.
While more cameras combined with the increased police presence in certain hotspots, those measures do little when a driver has a “need for speed.” Add to that the post-pandemic change in perception of public transportation. More New Yorkers will likely considering more closed quarters in commuting around the city. While operating their own vehicles can reduce the danger of contracting a deadly virus, all drivers still face different and potentially fatal risks.