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Additional Risks Driving During the Pandemic May Present

In just a few short weeks, life, as we know it in this country and around the world, has changed drastically with the COVID-19 pandemic. Many states, including North Carolina, are under stay-at-home orders in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus. Even with the stay-at-home directives, there are still many people in North Carolina who are considered essential workers and must travel to and from their jobs every day. So, even though there may not be as much traffic during your morning and evening commutes, drivers are still at risk of being involved in car accidents, especially given how worried and distracted people are over current health concerns.

There are steps you can take to help minimize that risk and keep yourself safe. Here are some suggestions from the North Carolina car accident attorneys at Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn:

  • Avoid carpools and public transit if possible. If you are able to drive yourself to work, you are helping to lessen your risk of exposure to COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are many people who may not be exhibiting any symptoms of the virus but are still able to spread it to others. Sharing a closed space, such as in a vehicle, bus, or train, can expose a person to COVID-19. For people who do need to take public transit, try to travel during off-peak hours and remember to keep at least six feet from other people around you.
  • Allow yourself ample time to get to your destination. Make sure to adhere to all speed limits. Focus on the road and don’t allow yourself to get distracted from the road in front of you. This also includes not letting your mind wander to issues that may be stressing you out about the current situation.
  • Make sure to get enough rest every night. Again, we are living in stressful times and this can affect a person’s ability to fall and/or stay asleep at night. Not getting enough sleep can cause fatigued driving accidents. If you are having a hard time sleeping, consider trying some natural ways that can help you sleep, such as avoiding alcohol before bed and, instead, try chamomile tea or warm milk, make sure the temperature in your bedroom is not too warm, and turn the electronics off. The light from smartphones and tablet have been proven to interfere with sleep.
  • Practice defensive driving habits when you are on the road. Make sure you are aware of your surroundings and be extra alert to any other drivers who may be driving erratically or aggressively. Keep in mind that many people who are struggling with the stress of the times may not be practicing the same safe behaviors you are.
  • Keep the news off while you are driving. Although it is important to stay informed of what is happening in these quickly changing times, listening to disturbing news reports while you are driving can cause you to become upset and take your attention away from your driving. Instead, listen to music that you enjoy that will help take your mind off the COVID-19 pandemic, at least while you are driving.

Let a Carolinas Personal Injury Attorney Help

If you are involved in a car accident caused by another driver, you may be entitled to financial compensation for the losses the crash has caused you. The at-fault driver can be legally liable for your medical expenses, loss of income if you are unable to work, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, scarring, permanent disability, and more.

Call Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn today to set up a free and confidential case evaluation with one of our North Carolina car accident attorney to find out what your legal options are. Our legal team has been aggressively advocating for injured victims and their families for more than 30 years. We will work diligently to get you the money you deserve. We also offer a free, downloadable car accident injury guide, which provides answers to what damages you can claim, how much your claim is worth, how and why most claims settle, a lawyer’s duties to their client, and more.  

 

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Richard N. Shapiro
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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