Across the metro Atlanta region, many employees have been heading back to work after a year of working from home. Even more are expected to return to work after Labor Day weekend. Many employees, however, are also still continuing to work from home, and this has led to interesting fluctuations in traffic patterns which could impact car accident patterns as well.
In large metro areas, like the metro Atlanta region, that typically have had predictable rush-hour traffic patterns, rush hour in the “new normal” is significantly different from Feb 2020. And with large numbers of employees still working from home, rush hour may not immediately return to pre-2020 levels. Other cities that see heavy rush-hour traffic are seeing similar changes in patterns.
In fact, in many of these cities, there is significantly lower traffic being recorded between 6:00 AM and 8:00 AM. Such declines in early morning traffic are being seen across the country. There has also been a drop in commuter traffic after 8:00 AM, but the drop is not as significant as the drop in the early morning hours. This indicates that even commuters who are going to work now are choosing to delay their commute. This is in sharp contrast to pre-2020 levels when traffic during the 8 AM to 10 AM commuter shift was markedly lower than the earlier shift.
This is something that motorists in the metro Atlanta region need to keep in mind as they plan their morning commutes and return to work. You are likely to see more traffic later in the morning and, therefore, need to be much more cautious and aware of traffic around you if you are driving during this time. Factor in the expected traffic volumes into your morning commute, so that you do not feel the need to speed to reach your office on time.
The new rush hour patterns have also shown that speeding has increased throughout the rush hour time frames. This is mainly due in part to the reduced traffic volume on the road. Empty roads encourage rash driving behaviors like speeding, and this was seen throughout 2020. It is likely that similar behavior patterns will be seen throughout 2021 as more people return to work. Unfortunately, the increase in speeding drivers will almost always result in an increase in car accidents. Therefore, even though the empty roads may look tempting, a driver still needs to exercise caution when driving during rush hour, especially on the highways.
Traffic safety experts are also predicting larger volumes of traffic during the weekends, as even work-from-home employees decide to hit the roads. Additionally, traffic patterns are likely to shift even more as September arrives when schools and colleges open. A reduction in congestion on our roads could be significant when school is back in session. The number of impatient drivers attempting to navigate around school buses may actually be helpful in further reducing the number of car accidents on the roads.
The Atlanta car accident attorneys at the Katz Law Firm represent persons who have suffered injuries in accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in an accident, talk to an attorney at our firm, and determine your legal options to a claim for damages. You may qualify for damages that include medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and other forms of compensation.