California is a state known for its congested roads and smoggy air. This has changed in the face of a worldwide pandemic.
Californians are making history with the amount of time we’re spending on the road. On March 19, 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the new stay-at-home orders, and nearly closed more than half of the state’s businesses. An unintended consequence of the shelter-in-place order is that Californians have seen a 50% reduction in auto collisions. According to a recent report by UC Davis, this has saved the state an estimated $40 million per day, or a billion dollars in savings since the Governor announced the orders. (UC Davis Road Ecology Center Special Report (Update): Impact of COVID19 Mitigation on Numbers and Costs of California Traffic Crashes, April1, 2020; https://www.ucdavis.edu/news/california-covid-19-traffic-report-finds-silver-lining/).
As a direct result of this shelter in place mandate, there have been fewer injuries and fewer fatalities from auto collisions; and, hospitals have seen a sharp decrease in patients injured in car crashes. California’s Insurance Commission, noting the decline in drivers and auto related crashes, has ordered insurers to make premium refunds for the months of March and April to “all adversely impacted California policyholders in the following lines of insurance…private passenger automobile insurance…any other line of coverage where the measure of risk have become substantially overstated as a result of the pandemic.” (Bulletin 2020-30; http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0250-insurers/0300-insurers/0200-bulletins/bulletin-notices-commiss-opinion/upload/Bulletin_2020-3_re_covid-19_premium_reductions-2.pdf).
While there are less drivers on the road, Californians need to be more careful now than ever to avoid speeding, and breaking basic driving laws. Clearer roads lead to increased speeds, and increased speeds lead to a greater likelihood of crashing and being injured.
There may be fewer injuries and fewer fatalities from auto collisions, as a direct result of the shelter in place mandate, but that doesn’t mean all roads are safe. GBG is still open helping clients with current or new personal injury cases. By using online services such as zoom or facetime, we’re still able to meet with clients and pursue personal injury cases.
At Grigoryan Blum & Grigoryan we’re working harder than ever to represent those who have been injured in auto collisions and personal injury. We help clients get treatment even as many doctor’s offices have shut down. Whether it’s virtually or in person, we take care of our clients during these uncertain times.