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Serious accidents increased during COVID-19 lockdown

Chattanooga spent nearly two months in quarantine in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, things are closer to normal, though many of us are still taking precautions when out in public.

Because so many people were working from home or furloughed during Tennessee’s shelter-in-place order, the roads in Chattanooga and Hamilton County were much emptier than usual. You would think car accident numbers would have gone down too, but this was not universally true for the area. And the number of serious wrecks went up.

Accidents down, but serious accidents up

Students at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga compiled auto accident data for the region. They found the number of wrecks went down during the quarantine period. More suburban-like areas experienced more crashes, particularly East Brainerd Road near Jenkins Road and Banks Road.

In addition, the accidents that did happen during lockdown tended to cause more severe injuries, the students found. One of the students suggested the lack of traffic tempted some drivers to speed, act recklessly and cause violent crashes.

Light traffic does not excuse dangerous driving

Driving laws are there for a reason. A relatively empty street or highway is not an excuse to speed, drive through red lights, change lanes without looking or signaling, or otherwise create a dangerous situation. Regardless of outside events, negligent drivers in Tennessee are responsible for the harm they cause others. This includes common results of high-speed car crashes, such as brain trauma, lost limbs, paralysis or wrongful death.

After being injured in a car crash that was another person’s fault, you could be entitled to compensation for your lost wages, pain and suffering, medical bills and other damages. To find out more about what you could receive in personal injury litigation, speak to an experienced attorney.

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TBA | Tennessee Bar Association
CBA | Chattanooga Bar Association
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