Increase in deadly road accidents during the pandemic

Increase in deadly road accidents during the pandemic
Published: Sep. 4, 2020 at 7:02 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The pandemic has caused less motorists on the roads throughout the city.

You would think Amarillo’s highways would be a little safer with less people on the road.

Although, that is not the case.

“The deaths in traffic accidents are definitely up,” said Randall Sims, the 47th district attorney.

There have been more fatal accidents in Amarillo this year than in years past.

Six more people have died from car accidents this year than in each of the last four by this time of year.

The Amarillo Police Department PIO says the number one reason for this increase has been people driving too fast.

“When you’re going that speed, 20-30 mph over the speed limit, the chance of you having a major accident are going up because of the speed limit,” said Jeb Hilton, PIO at the Amarillo Police Department.

Hilton says people are driving 10 to 15 miles faster lately.

It has also caused more tickets written than normal.

He says more people are speeding because they might feel safer on an open road compared to a busier one.

“Maybe there’s not as many people on the street so people think they can drive faster, or they’re driving faster because of that and then they come up on a congested area,” said Hilton.

There might be another reason for the increase of lead foots in Amarillo.

A driving expert says more people are letting their emotions of the pandemic get the best of them when they’re behind the wheel.

“People are pin up and there angry at the government for shutting everything down and emotional issues are definitely a factor in how fast you drive,”said Bill Dodgen, owner of the Comedy Defense Driving company.

Another reason you may want to slow down is the Amarillo Police Department and Highway Patrol plan on putting more officers and troopers on the street for this holiday weekend.

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