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The pandemic, along with stay-at-home orders, kept many drivers off the road during the 2020 year. However, according to a report from the National Safety Council (NSC), more than 42,000 people are estimated to have died on U.S. roadways last year. This marks an 8% increase over 2019, considering that it was in a year when people drove significantly less frequently because of the pandemic.
Although the NSC didn’t explain why this trend happened, local agencies blamed the pandemic for the increase in speeding infractions and fatalities at the beginning of the second quarter of 2020.
The NSC reports a higher number of fatalities than those suggested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The numbers by NSC include deaths that happened on private roads (including parking lots and driveways). The president of NSC says that her organization hasn’t finished its analysis of the causes for the rise in numbers but has said that it’s clear that with fewer cars on the road, risky driving behaviors went up, including failing to wear a seatbelt, driving under the influence, or distracted.
Nationally, the number of miles traveled by vehicles had trips to an unprecedented 264.2 billion miles over the first quarter of 2020. However, traffic data showed that average speeds increased and extreme speeding become more common. With the open roads and few drivers, drivers were inclined to practice reckless driving, leading to a sharp increase in fatalities on the road.
In addition to speeding, the NHTSA found that in the second quarter, there were patterns of individuals driving while impaired and not wearing their seat belts while driving. In April of 2020, the ejection rate was doubled from what it was the previous year. In addition, data released from a study conducted by NHTSA from five trauma centers revealed that between mid-March and mid-July, almost two-thirds of drivers tested positive for at least one active drug, including alcohol, marijuana, or opioids.
Unfortunately, there have been other reports in which reckless driving behavior has been witnessed. Analyst Bob Pishue, an analyst with INRIX, a company that analyzes traffic patterns, has noticed that even though roads seem less-congested, you do get fewer collisions. Still, the ones that do happen are more severe. In a report, Pishue found a 31% increase in the fatality rate during the second quarter in the nation’s top 25 metropolitan areas. The key contributor to the deaths was speed.
Across the country, there have been found similar driving patterns of speeding. Still, Minnesota was the first to alert the Governor Highway Safety Association of an increase in the dangerous trend. In addition, the following are states that reported similar driving trends:
Speeding doesn’t just refer to when someone is driving above the speed limit. Speeding includes other behaviors, such as driving too fast when road conditions aren’t the best (for example, driving too fast when it is raining or there is ice). In addition, speeding can include practices of racing with other drivers or other displays of speed.
Not only do you risk the possibilities of getting a fat ticket or face any criminal consequences, but speeding can create a hazard and danger to other individuals on the road, including:
People speed for several reasons. However, the most prevalent one, and the reason it encourages this behavior more, is that they simply won’t believe that they won’t get caught. Here are a couple of tips if you happen to be on the road at the same time as a speed racer:
In addition to knowing what to do when faced with a speeding driver, it‘s beneficial to know why drivers are more prone to speed. Knowing this may help you avoid these patterns. Here are some reasons why they might speed:
Speeding can lead to many unwanted risks and dangers for yourself and others on the road. Depending on the velocity at which you or someone was going, the crash may cause more serious injuries and property damage than other vehicle collisions. If you are in a car accident, it is best to reach out to a car accident attorney who can help you file your claim. Here at The Carlson Law Firm, we are committed to helping you out with your legal needs. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and obtain the justice you deserve.