In March 2020, life changed dramatically for residents of Montgomery County – and for all Americans. In Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan issued a stay-at-home order on March 30, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of this order, schools shut down, businesses temporarily closed, and many workplaces allowed employees to work remotely.
Without a doubt, 2020 was a difficult year for Americans – filled with loss, worry, and fear. Yet the pandemic also brought some positive changes, particularly here in Montgomery County. With so many Marylanders at home for most of the year, traffic decreased substantially in the region – and the number of motor vehicle accidents dropped dramatically, too.
If you have been hurt in a car crash, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. At DuBoff & Associates, we work hard to help injury victims get the money that they deserve after a car accident. Below, we break down 2020 Montgomery County car accident data to discover exactly how and where the drop in traffic accidents occurred.
In an average year in Maryland, there are 115,555 motor vehicle accidents. Of those accidents, 33,391 caused injuries – and an additional 492 wrecks led to fatalities. In Montgomery County, there were 11,662 crashes in 2019 alone.
In 2020, this number decreased sharply. In Montgomery County, there were 8,039 accidents in 2020 – a drop of 31%. Similarly, the number of accidents that caused injuries decreased, from 4,029 in 2019 to 2,643 in 2020.
At the same time, the number of fatal accidents actually rose between 2019 and 2020. In 2019, there were 33 fatal car crashes in Montgomery County, representing 0.28% of all accidents for that year. In 2020, there were 40 fatal car accidents – or 0.49% of all crashes.
These numbers may seem counterintuitive, but they echo trends seen across the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were fewer accidents in 2020, as compared to 2019. However, there were a greater number of fatal accidents during this time, likely due to riskier behaviors such as not wearing seat belts and driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and/or drugs.
Without a doubt, fewer cars on the road due to the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to a massive decrease in the number of accidents in Montgomery County. This is particularly true for the collisions that typically occurred during morning and evening commutes when traffic is often at its worst in the region. If more people are able to work remotely in 2021 and beyond, these trends of fewer traffic accidents may continue.
The crash data available for Montgomery County does not always specify a city or municipality where the accident occurred. When it does, however, it is clear that accidents happen most often in and around the cities with higher populations and closer proximity to the major highways and interstates for commuting to Washington, D.C. – such as I-270 and I-495.
Many of these cities saw a significant decrease in the number of accidents between 2019 and 2020, including:
One city actually saw an increase in the number of crashes in 2020. Friendship Heights had just 8 reported accidents in 2019, compared to 19 in 2020.
Overall, these cities and towns experienced the same sharp decline in traffic accidents as Montgomery County did as a whole. If the trend of fewer commuters, fewer tourists, and fewer overall vehicles on the road remains the same, residents can expect these lower numbers to become our new normal.
If you have been hurt in any type of accident, you may be facing mounting medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other expenses. The thought of pursuing legal action might be overwhelming in this situation. Our law firm is here to help.
With offices in Silver Spring and Baltimore, DuBoff & Associates is dedicated to helping injury victims throughout Maryland get the compensation that they deserve for their injuries. We offer free initial consultations, and never charge a fee unless we recover money for you. To learn more or to schedule an appointment with a Montgomery County car accident attorney, call our law office at 301-495-3131 or fill out our online contact form.Filed Under: