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Pandemic Causes Traffic Fatality Rates to Increase

October 09, 2020

USA- Traffic fatality rates increased drastically this year in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic. The pandemic caused traffic levels to decrease considerably this year. Unfortunately, during the second quarter of 2020, traffic fatality rates rose by approximately 30 percent. The numbers are based on data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

Officials with NHTSA report that such devastating trends have not been seen before and that urgent actions are needed to reverse course. Traffic volume declined by approximately sixteen percent during the first six months of this year. Throughout that same time, the number of fatal traffic accidents declined by just three percent. After several years of declining fatalities on the road, the pandemic has sparked an increase in deaths per miles traveled. 

In 2019, 1.10 fatalities occurred for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled. In the first half of the year, that number rose to 1.42 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles. Although total traffic fatalities are down, the numbers suggest an increase in the rate of fatal collisions. Drivers appear to be taking risks, such as operating a car after consuming alcohol or drugs. Officials state that it is now crucial for motorists to remember the importance of using caution on the road. Drivers are responsible for not only their own lives but the lives of other people with whom they share the roadways.

One disappointing report indicated that during the COVID-19 outbreak, young men, especially those living in rural areas, are driving more recklessly. Alcohol use, opioid use, and cannabis use among motorists involved in fatal crashes are increasing. Traffic safety officials are now looking at ways to get the message out about these new and disturbing traffic patterns. Part of the issue is also likely the fact that many older, more cautious individuals are staying off of the road. The risk-taking drivers might be dominating traffic and leading to increases in collisions. 

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Category: Auto Accidents

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Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.