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Drivers spent less time on the road in 2020, yet fatalities surged

When many states went into lockdown in March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. roadways soon became nearly empty. For months, traffic levels dropped significantly, with many commuters working from home and avoiding unnecessary trips. However, while drivers spent significantly less time on the road in 2020, traffic fatalities surged.

Traffic fatalities up sharply in 2020

According to the National Safety Council, traffic fatalities rose by 8% in 2020 with more than 42,000 people killed. When evaluating the number of traffic deaths to the number of miles driven, the fatality rates spiked by 24%, the highest surge in nearly a century. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also saw increases in total number of traffic fatality deaths and fatality rates in 2020, based on preliminary results.

One of the biggest possible factors in the increased number of traffic deaths was the sharp increase in the number of drivers speeding. Colorado State Patrol reported citing more drivers for speeding in March, April and May 2020 than in past years. Thousands of times, officers cited drivers for driving more than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit in these months. Frequently, officers cited drivers who were going more than 90 miles per hour.

What happens when drivers speed

Over the years, speeding has played a major role in causing accidents. And when drivers drive at higher speeds, they are more likely to cause devastating accidents. The higher the speed a car is going when it crashes, the more force it brings to the crash, resulting in more injuries and sometimes even death for drivers and passengers.

When drivers speed, they can more easily:

  • Lose control of their vehicle
  • Not have enough distance to stop suddenly
  • Reduce the effectiveness of a car’s occupant protection equipment

When injured by a speeding driver

If you are injured in an accident because of a reckless speeding driver, you need to consult a personal injury attorney. You shouldn’t have to worry about getting your medical bills paid and missing work while you recover. An attorney can help ensure you get the injury compensation you need.

Speeding isn’t a victimless crime. Sometimes, a speeding driver can cause a catastrophic crash. Victims in those accidents deserve proper compensation for their injuries, so they can focus on their recovery and move on.