Auto Accident Deaths Continue To Spike In The First Quarter Of 2021
The United States Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released preliminary statistics on the number of fatalities that resulted from an auto accident in the first quarter of 2021. The numbers find a staggering increase in the number of fatalities year over year on U.S. roads.
According to the early estimates the number of fatalities that occurred increased by 10.5% over the same time period in 2020. In 2021 it is estimated that 8,730 people died as the result of a traffic accident which compares to the first quarter of 2020 which saw 7,900 fatalities.
At the same time that fatalities were increasing the NHTSA reported that the volume of traffic was down overall. In fact, in the 1st quarter of 2021 it was reported that the number of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) actually decreased from the same time to previous year by 2.1% which equated to 14.9 billion miles.
Experts believe that the reason fatalities are increasing while the number of miles traveled is decreasing is due to driver behavior. Similarly to the report that saw traffic fatalities spike in 2020, driver habits showed troubling behaviors in 2021. Some of these risky behaviors included;
- An increase in excessive speeding. With less drivers on the road it became easier for drivers who did head out on the roads to go faster and exceed posted speed limits. This risky behavior often leads to more dangerous conditions and the possibility of a Connecticut auto accident.
- Reduced use of seatbelts. While drivers were feeling better about speeding they were also not wearing seatbelts at as high of a rate as they have been in years past. This combination of speed and a lack of seatbelts is a deadly one.
- Increase in drivers who were under the influence of alcohol or drugs. As the global pandemic continues to rage on the use of alcohol and drugs continues to increase and this is spilling over into drivers who are hitting the road intoxicated.
It is important to wait for final numbers to be released from the NHTSA for the full year of 2021 before making any assumptions and drastic changes to policies, but keeping an eye on this troubling trend is important as well. The federal government and the state of Connecticut’s Department of Transportation will continue to monitor these numbers to ensure that roads are safe for all drivers.
As more and more travelers and commuters return to the road you might find yourself in an accident and you may need an attorney to represent you. If you’ve been injured, contact our office and one of our experienced attorneys will work with you to protect your long-term interests.