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Less traffic equals fewer accidents -- but doesn't eliminate them

Out of safety concerns, many people are staying at home -- and that's caused a significant drop in the number of traffic accidents that are being seen throughout California and elsewhere. Traffic volume on the state's highways, for example, is estimated to be down more than half.

Since March 20, when shelter-in-place orders took effect, the number of traffic accidents and related deaths have both been cut in half. It's estimated that the drop has saved the state $40 million each day -- for a grand total of about $1 billion so far.

Does that mean that you're safe out there on the roads when you do go out? Not really. In practical terms, the reduction in accident rates means that there are still about 500 car accidents and 200 deaths per day -- as opposed to 1000 accidents and 400 deaths per day.

There are even reports that drivers who are on the road right now are taking some unusual liberties. Whether they're tempted to use the empty streets as an impromptu racetrack or they simply lose track of how fast they're going, there's been a big uptick in the number of drivers who have been caught going extremely fast. Many of them have been clocked at over 100 miles per hour. Drivers going that fast have little hope of avoiding a terrible accident if there's anything unexpected in their paths.

Regardless of the situation, defensive driving is an essential part of staying safe when you're on the road. No matter how carefully you obey the traffic laws, there's no guarantee that the next guy will. Should you fall victim to a reckless or negligent driver, find out how you can seek fair compensation for your losses.

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