Highway deaths during 2020 were the highest they have been in more than a decade. When the worldwide pandemic hit, rush hour traffic that clogged roads were thought to be a thing of the past, albeit temporarily. Yet, fewer vehicles on the road traveling fewer miles gave rise to a significant increase in reckless and dangerous driving.
More citations. More dangers.
Data from the first half of 2021 saw tickets for speeding 100 miles per hour or more doubled the number before the pandemic hit. Reckless driving citations were also exceedingly high.
Seatbelt use slightly declined while speeding, tailgating, dangerous lane changes, and drivers under the influence of drugs and alcohol increased, resulting in an alarming number of fatalities. Nationwide, traffic-related deaths grew to more than seven percent or close to 40,000 losses of life while the number of miles traveled dropped to just above 13 percent.
COVID-19 was not the only “killer” as the sum total of all the statistics make 2020 the deadliest year on highways since 2007.
What is more concerning to law enforcement officials is the return of 2019 traffic levels combined with the 2020 habits. The summer months see roads packed with cars. Labor Day is serving as the unofficial last day of summer, with officials seeing that “last hurrah” as an excuse to drive unsafely and illegally.
Excessive speeding has deadly consequences. Even those who abide by speed limits and other road rules can find themselves seriously injured due to reckless and dangerous acts. Help from a personal injury attorney can provide a form of justice beyond criminal penalties.