The state and workplace shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic meant that there were far fewer vehicles on the road.
Many people might think that fewer vehicles should mean fewer accidents, but that is not necessarily the case. Alarming reports from across the country should put workers on their guard to avoid the risk of suffering a work-related injury on the road.
Report: Stark increase in reckless driving
According to the U.S. News and World Report, the rates of reckless driving have increased across the country considerably since April. Reports from many states found:
- Several drivers going far over the speed limit, at more than 100 mph; and
- A decrease in overall crashes, but a sharp increase in fatal accidents.
It is critical to note that Maryland has not seen the same increase in road fatalities during this time. Fatalities have actually decreased by 13%. However, that does not mean that Maryland should not be aware of the increasing risk that reckless drivers pose. In fact, it is especially important for workers to be aware of this risk.
Why is it critical for workers to beware?
We have mentioned in previous blog posts that when one’s work requires them to travel or take to the road regularly, the risk of an injury increases considerably. The road is a dangerous and unpredictable place, and the longer workers spend on the road the higher risk of injury they face.
Nowadays, a large percentage of people on the roads are workers. Some of them might be commuters, but many also include those whose work requires them to be on the road, such as:
- Delivery drivers;
- Community health workers;
- Utility workers; and
- Highway maintenance or construction workers.
These workers are regularly on the road, whether they are behind the wheel or on foot. An increase in reckless driving rates directly impacts these workers’ safety.
Work injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents are often compensable, as they arise out of the course of one’s work (Maryland Code, Labor & Employment §9-501). However, it is more critical for workers to be aware of this growing risk, so they can take action to avoid an accident.