As people and businesses adapted to the past year’s events and closures, a troubling statistic has emerged. Despite the decrease in commuter traffic and more employees working from home than ever, 2020 saw an increase in traffic fatality rates. To try to understand this disturbing change, researchers have considered the types of behaviors drivers currently display on the road.
Understanding the road statistics
The lack of traffic has given some drivers a newfound confidence for engaging in behaviors and driving patterns that would have caused a person some pause in years past. Drivers expect fewer cars on the roads during the day, even during peak driving periods. The reduction in the number of drivers on the road combined with a lesser police presence has influenced many drivers to speed in excess, forego the wearing of seatbelts, and engage with more distractions. When obstacles and traffic do appear, drivers may not be prepared for such abrupt changes. Here are some of the statistics that document this troubling pattern of risky behaviors:
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued an urgent report demonstrating how the reversal of a three-year decrease in deaths is alarming.
- Further research has shown that traffic volume was sixteen percent (16%) lower in the first half of 2020.
- Despite this reduction, traffic deaths fell by a mere three percent (3%).
- The fatalities per 100 million drivers rose from 1.10 to 1.42 from the first to second quarters of the year.
- Trauma centers found that impaired driving, failure to wear seat belts, and speeding were common factors in these serious injuries and fatalities.
- Alcohol and opioids were more prevalent amongst crash victims compared to previous times.
The cost of risky driving
When someone is seriously injured during a collision the damages can require years of rehabilitative treatment. The injured party may also sustain lost wages and reduced working ability. When someone dies in a high-speed collision, the emotional and financial impact on their families is tremendous. If you or a a loved one was seriously injured in a collision this past year, you need to pursue the compensation you are due to help get your life back on track.