Why Were Traffic Fatalities At A 13 Year High Last Year?
While many of us were at home during quarantine due to COVID-19 restrictions, the roads were not nearly as busy, so you might assume that there were not as many accidents that led to fatalities. Unfortunately, your assumption would be wrong.
In fact, last year was the deadliest year for drivers since 2007. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that there were 38,680 people who died in car crashes last year alone. This number is up significantly from recent years, rising 7% over the same crash data in 2019.
Fatalities increased dramatically at the same time that less people were driving and fewer miles were driven. There were a total of 430 billion fewer miles driven last year than there were in 2019 and yet a higher rate of fatalities was reported. Why is this?
One of the bright spots in the report is that fatalities among those drivers 65 years and older actually dropped by 9% in 2020.
The simple answer is that drivers were partaking in riskier behaviors. The NHTSA saw an increase in the following behaviors on roads throughout the U.S.:
- Excessive speeding
- Increased risk taking on less congested roads
- A lack of seat belt wearing
- An increase in the number of drivers who were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Of all the riskier behaviors reported from drivers last year one of the most concerning was the report that drivers were not only speeding but they were engaged in extreme speeding according to the NHTSA. One of the things you can do to prevent yourself from getting into a Connecticut auto accident is to slow down. Those that go even 5 MPH over the speed limit significantly increase their risk of getting injured in an accident or worse, experiencing a fatality.
As some aspects of our world are returning to “normal” these types of risky behaviors will only get increasingly more dangerous and can lead to additional injuries or death. If you are involved in an accident, you may want to speak with an experienced attorney who can review your case. Contact our office.