In spring 2020, many cities in the United States saw traffic levels drop sharply because of state lockdowns amid the coronavirus pandemic. Yet while Americans drove 13% fewer miles last year because of stay-at-home orders, traffic accident deaths spiked.
The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 42,060 people died in U.S. traffic accidents in 2020, up 8% from 2019 and the first increase in four years. When evaluating the fatality rate per million miles driven, that rate jumped 24%, the highest surge since 1923. In Georgia, the number of traffic deaths in 2020 rose much higher than national average, up 16% from the previous year.
Why traffic deaths rose in 2020
Safety experts say that with more wide-open roads, drivers drove faster and more recklessly. Many police departments across the country reported citing more and more drivers for driving more than 100 miles per hour, as well as responding to more accidents where alcohol or drug use was involved. Some experts say they still feel drivers are driving more recklessly and speeding in 2021, even though traffic levels have increased.
When drivers travel at high speeds:
- They can easily lose control of their vehicles.
- They need longer distances to stop their vehicles.
- Vehicles are more likely to rollover in an accident.
- The amount of force increases in an accident, raising the possibility of more severe injuries or death in a crash.
When injured in a high-speed crash or a loved one dies
Those who suffer serious injuries in a high-speed crash should consult a personal injury attorney. You want to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your medical costs for your injury and any lost wages while you recover. If you have a spouse or child die in a crash with a reckless driver, a personal injury attorney can help you file a wrongful death lawsuit, ensuring you receive compensation for losing your loved one’s income, companionship and help.
Being involved in an accident with a driver who is driving recklessly or speeding is frightening. You may consider yourself lucky if you lived through one. Yet getting proper compensation for your injuries is important – you deserve to get the financial support you need to make a full recovery.