How The Pandemic Unexpectedly Increased Fatalities On The Road

Monday, March 15, 2021

When Covid-19 hit the US, shutdowns ensued to keep the virus from spreading too rapidly and overwhelming the medical facilities. People faced long-term unemployment and were encouraged to stay home. With the pandemic stretching on into 2021, it would seem logical that car crash fatalities would decrease. Surprisingly, they did just the opposite.

If more people were staying home due to Covid-19 restrictions, why would motor vehicle accident fatalities increase? What does that mean for the future?

If you have lost someone you love because of a driver’s carelessness, you need a wrongful death attorney in Ventura, California. Let The Law Offices of J. Jeffrey Herman secures the compensation you deserve.

Pandemic Traffic Decreased While Accidents Increased

With a year where students and workers alike mainly stayed at home, it is shocking to see an increase in motor vehicle fatalities. According to the National Safety Council,

  • 42,060 fatalities motor vehicle fatalities were reported in 2020
  • Car accident deaths increased by 8% over 2019
  • The fatality rate per 100 million miles driven was the highest percentage increase since 1923 at 24%

The big question is, why has the death rate increased so much during a time when people mostly stayed home?

The Answer is Reckless Driving

With fewer vehicles on the road, there were many open roads in major cities. Drivers saw it as an opportunity to indulge in speeding and other reckless driving habits. The increase in traffic-related fatalities sharply increased.

Data shows:

  • Americans drove 13% less
  • Speed-related fatalities on the roads doubled

In fact, drivers weren’t just speeding, but speeding excessively. Thousands of drivers were caught going over 100 mph. Car accidents at extreme speeds are far more severe and often result in fatalities.

The Insurance Information Institute has also taken an interest in the pandemic driving trends. According to their data, property damage has decreased while the severity has increased. Now that lockdowns are starting ease, the driving trends are remaining the same. Their research has shown drivers are still speeding excessively, especially during rush hour. Due to the severity of auto insurance claims being so high, the pressure is now put on the rates.

With a driver’s permission, some insurance companies have begun to monitor for miles driven, speed, where they go, and for distracted driving. Progressive, famous for its Snapshot, has even allowed long-term clients to use it again in the hopes of cutting down their rates.

Roads are still less congested, down 12% from pre-covid years. However, the evidence is clear that the roads are more dangerous. Keep your family safe. If you have teenage drivers in your household, it’s time for a reminder about driver safety, distracted driving, and speeding. Late for work? Just be late. Five minutes won’t make that much of a difference if you’re already behind. However, speeding more than 10 mph could mean the difference between you making it home that day or not. If that doesn’t motivate you, keep in mind that traffic officers are under pressure to crack down on speeders and other traffic violations.

When You Need The Law Offices of J. Jeffrey Herman

If you or someone you love has suffered injuries from a motor vehicle crash, you need a car accident attorney in Ventura, California. Call The Law Offices of J. Jeffrey Herman today. Contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 805-983-2344.

The Law Offices of J. Jeffrey Herman has a focus on personal injury cases in other parts of California.

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