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By now, all of us are aware of the important role social distancing plays in reducing community spread of the coronavirus. Residents of Fort Myers are under an order to stay at home, but there are times when supply runs are needed and essential workers are still required to report to their jobs. The stress of the situation has everyone on edge, and concerns over loved ones or the latest news can leave you feeling distracted. Unfortunately, this makes car accidents more likely to happen. It is important to be aware of the risks and the steps you can take to protect your safety if an accident does occur.  

Be Aware of Car Accident Risks 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has issued a stay at home order that applies to people throughout the state. According to an April 1, 2020 News-Press report, the order goes into effect Friday, April 3 at 12:01 a.m. It requires all residents to remain home for the next 30 days. Essential workers, such as medical providers, first responders, and grocery store, bank, or gas station attendants, are among those exempt. 

Residents are permitted to leave their homes for supply runs or to engage in exercise and other recreational activities, but are encouraged to maintain social distancing guidelines in the process. Unfortunately, the panic many feel due to the situation can make car accidents more likely to happen. Common factors in crashes during the coronavirus include: 

  • Increase distractions: With our minds focused on the latest news and the safety of ourselves or loved ones, distracted driving accidents are more likely to happen. 
  • Increases sense of urgency: Rushing to get supplies and worrying that store shelves will not be stocked can cause drivers to engage in speeding, tailgating, or other aggressive driving behaviors. 
  • Increased exhaustion: Particularly for essential workers, lack of sleep is an issue. Being tired while driving mimics many of the same effects as being drunk behind the wheel. 

What to do in the Event of a Car Accident

The Florida Statutes require drivers to take certain actions in the event of a car accident. This includes reporting it to police, exchanging information with other drivers, and rendering aid to injured victims. Unfortunately, in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic, actions you take on the scene could increase your risks of infection. To protect yourself, follow these tips: 

  • Wait patiently in your vehicle for police to arrive;
  • Keep six feet apart from other drivers involved;
  • Avoid sharing pens or touching other’s identification cards;
  • Take pictures of the scene, your vehicle, and your injuries;
  • Follow the authorities instructions on how to safely obtain medical care. 

Reach Out to Our Fort Myers Car Accident Attorney 

Car accidents can result in serious injuries that impact you for years into the future. During this challenging time, the Bernardo Law Firm is here to help you get the compensation you need to recover. To discuss your case, call or contact our Fort Myers car accident attorney online today.