Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer Joseph Lipsky has seen with his own eyes a small silver lining in the ongoing pandemic, a significant drop in serious car accidents across Miami, Fort Lauderdale and the Palm Beaches over the past few months. The recent reduction in car accidents and truck accidents is certainly due to the findings from recent studies by Florida Atlantic University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Louisiana State University, and the University of Hawaii all of whom analyzed information from the State of Florida Department of Transportation. Those studies confirmed a year over year drop of nearly forty-eight percent of motor vehicle traffic on Florida’s roads and highways.
As most of us know, vehicle traffic dropped once the State and most counties, including Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe ordered business to close or reduce capacity in hopes of slowing the spread of Covid-19. According to the Director of Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions, the significant decrease in roadway traffic is either attributed to those closures or a general overall fear many Floridians have related to the virus.
Researchers noted a variance between vehicle traffic on roads in and around cities as compared to roads considered to be rural. The study determined that around one million vehicles traveling each day along rural roadways showed a drop commencing in mid-March. Then comparing the number of that traffic to that along so-called city or urban roadways, the researches noticed approximately 5 million vehicles daily in the beginning of March, surging to a height of 7 million as the month progressed and dropping down to 3 million daily vehicles by the end of the month.
Researchers believe that the variance in daily car and truck traffic was due to the varying restrictions each county placed upon its citizens as the pandemic rolled across the State of Florida. Although the researchers were not certain as to the specific reason for the variance between city and rural traffic reductions, realizing that further study will be needed.
Given the spike in Covid cases and rising number of deaths and hospitalizations across Florida, particularly in Miami, many businesses are faced with the very real and concerning need to close again, which will certainly contribute to a drop in vehicle traffic and related car accidents. Of course, in the context of the economic devastation the pandemic is causing a drop in vehicle traffic is immaterial. However, any drop in car accidents and injuries is a welcome confluence of circumstances.
We hope that car insurance companies will continue to evaluate the premiums they charge and offer greater refunds and reductions to Floridians who are clearly not driving the number of miles they use to drive; meaning the insurance companies are profiting well above the amount they should, solely on the backs of Floridians. If the insurance companies are not proactive in helping their customers, it rests upon Florida’s Department of Financial Services to protect drivers from overpriced insurance. Now is the time the state should finally think of the interests of drivers over the profits of insurance companies.