When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, we were in for a number of changes to our lifestyles. When quarantine was taking place, many of us did not leave the house at all. Many events transitioned to be held virtually. Slowly but surely life is beginning to return back to normal. With quarantine and the continuation of the pandemic, many of us did not need to drive at all. Although it is encouraging that more and more people are getting back to their usual routine including driving, there are signs that people forgot how to drive.

From forgotten routes to weariness of driving in the dark, people have said that they do not recall characteristics of driving. Did people really forgot how to drive? Well driving is what is called a “procedural memory.” This is a memory that uses your reflexes and motor skills and stays in your brain for a long time. Even though it is very hard to forget a procedural memory, without consistent practice or repetitions, your procedural memory can become rusty similar to how even the top athletes can show rust in their respective sports after a long break.

This situation is like a bunch of people are getting their driver’s license for the first time ever. The foundational driving skills are still unimpaired but driving functions that require a higher level of skill may expose some drivers. And with people forgetting how to drive, the roads have become more dangerous. Last year in 2020, the death rate on the road rose by 24 percent. This is both alarming and ironic considering the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent quarantine significantly reduced the number of miles being driven.

It was predicted that driver deaths would go down, but they actually went up. This is due to the fact that with less drivers on the roadways people became more careless and reckless drivers. It may take some time for both the rusty and the reckless to get their driving skills back up to par again. But there are steps you can take to try to protect yourself. Things like consistently scanning the road and mirrors and not using your phone at the wheel can come a long way towards potentially avoid danger. If you’re injured as a result of negligent driving, call us at Hurst Limontes. (317) 636-0808.