If you’ve watched gas prices inch upward with each stop at the pump, you soon understand why many U.S. motorists have canceled all but their most essential road trips.
The massive jump in gas prices in 2022 can’t help but affect how often car owners start up their vehicles. That reluctance to burn fuel equals fewer cars in the lanes, and, according to research, often equates to fewer traffic collisions.
Fewer car crashes are at least one positive side effect of peaking crude oil prices, but personal injury lawyers may need to temper their expectations through such an economic downturn. But law firms can also be proactive and use the time to build their SEO footprint. This is one way to be ready to help accident victims when traffic levels inevitably return to normal.
2022 Gas Prices and Fewer Car Trips
Gas prices have recently inched toward the $7 a gallon mark in California and other western states. They’ve approached $5 a gallon in the south. It’s enough to convince any driver to hang up the car keys for the rest of 2022.
Recent travel numbers suggest that the outrageous prices for a gallon of gas kept more drivers at home in the spring of 2022. The trend also seems to be holding true for the summer vacation season.
A Yahoo! Finance poll found that 62% of drivers plan to pull their cars out of the driveway only for necessary trips like commuting, grocery shopping, and doctor visits. Almost a third of those polled said they were canceling 2022 summer vacations that involved road trips.
Way.com surveyed its customers in March of 2022 and 56% said they were driving less due to prices at the pump. Early on in the gas price swell of 2022, Intrex confirmed that, on average, vehicle trips dropped by 2% in the United States in just the span of a week.
There is a noticeable dip in traffic levels, but does that mean fewer traffic collisions? Many personal injury lawyers, in particular, are noticing a related drop in accident cases and inquiries in 2022. It’s a puzzling trend that may be related to the prices posted on gas station signs.
Fewer Car Accidents and DUI Crashes When Gas Prices Peak
A study that tracked Mississippi car accident statistics over an eight-year span found that incidents of many types of car accidents fell when gas prices were highest. And sometimes those dampening effects didn’t happen right away.
There was evidence that spiking gas prices didn’t always have a significant impact on travel immediately, but that the most drastic changes in driver behavior often come up to 9 or 10 months later.
Researchers established a link between safer travel and reduced traffic over economic factors. They noted that motorists hit the road less often when gas hit record prices. Surprisingly, they also found that motorists seemed to drive with more caution when prices were high. Rates of DUI accidents also appeared to fall when drivers hit hard economic times.
In one instance, traffic accidents did seem to increase for a certain type of motorist. As people look for cheaper means of travel, more motorists turned to motorcycles to reach their destinations. This seemed to spark a rash of motorcycle accidents during gas crunches.
Personal injury attorneys should always make sure motorcycle accident victims can easily find their law firms online. That may be even more important during a gas price surge when more riders could need help navigating a fair injury insurance claim.
Personal Injury Law and High Gas Prices
It’s not that anyone is rooting for more accidents. But when gas prices drop and travelers return to the road in full force, there will invariably be more traffic collisions and more injured victims. Personal injury law firms will need to be front and center to make sure victims receive fair settlements in recovery.
When car, motorcycle, pedestrian, and bicycle accidents return to unfortunate levels, personal injury lawyers must be prepared to capture the attention of victims. Law firms need a strong online presence and the resources to answer more calls and emails.
Their websites should rank high in their service areas so they can provide the most help possible to as many clients as possible. Those victims deserve to be able to heal without the worry of how they’ll pay for their recoveries.
Whether your law firm has noticed a downturn in accident cases in 2022 or not, it’s never a bad time to build online rankings for your firm’s website. You’ll weather periods of reduced client calls much more successfully and you’ll be ready when things return to normal. You want your past case success to grab the attention of every accident victim possible, especially when there are fewer potential clients to go around.