It was the end of March. Coronavirus was already ravaging the west coast and governors had locked some states down with stay at home orders. Davis Ad Agency was on a conference call with one of our west coast PI law firms. Call traffic was down but added bonus weight on TV was extending reach and cases were continuing to flow albeit at a slower pace. But things were about to get worse. Car traffic was plummeting. State trooper reports indicated a 50% drop in traffic and insurance companies were talking about issuing rebates to drivers because so few were on the roads. That’s when a paralegal on the conference call brought up something interesting. She was still commuting every day to work and traffic was significantly down but she was noticing something else. People on the road were driving erratically. It was as if the virus had impacted their driving sensibilities. Drivers were treating red lights as optional and traveling at extremely high speeds. Turns out, the same phenomenon was being experienced in other markets across the country. https://www.wsj.com/articles/
Consider this, “between March 16 and April 21, 35 people died in car crashes across Minnesota, the most in that period in at least six years.” Louisiana also recorded more traffic fatalities over the same period despite far less drivers on the road. Missouri’s traffic fatalities were down by 10% but overall traffic on roads was down 40% indicating a proportional increase in fatalities. In California, highway patrol wrote about 2,500 speeding tickets to drivers going more than 100 miles per hour, an 87% increase from a year earlier despite a 35% drop in traffic.
Experts are attributing the erratic driving to more available lane space and tedium. One driver pulled over after being clocked at more than 100 mph told the officer he was just out for a “joy ride.”
For those PI law firms that continued advertising throughout Coronavirus, the number of cases signed may have decreased but at least firms were there for those seriously injured. Often, those with serious injuries are the ones that need the most help.
Let us know how your law firm is faring through Coronavirus. We’d love to hear from you. Just email [email protected]. Stay well.