Rise in fatal auto accidents in 2020 causes safety concerns

| Jan 19, 2021 | Motor vehicle accidents |

In Connecticut and across the United States, the way people go about their daily lives has changed because of the ongoing health crisis. It has significantly altered is the number of vehicles on the road. Fewer people are traveling by car and the residential roads, rural roads and highways are not as busy as usual. Less traffic might imply safer roads, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that there were 4.6% more road deaths in crashes through September of 2020 when compared to 2019. Drivers should be cognizant of this when on the road and be aware of what their alternatives are after a collision with injuries and death.

Pandemic believed to have negatively impacted driver behaviors

The reduction in traffic and fewer law enforcement officers citing drivers for violations are perceived as factors in that rise in fatal accidents. The NHTSA says that nearly 29,200 people were killed in the first nine months of the year. That is compared to nearly 27,000 dying in 2019 during that same time-frame. Researchers think that drivers are taking advantage of the freedom from open roads and are taking part in risky behaviors like speeding, recklessness, driving under the influence and distracted driving.

In the first three months of 2020, the increase in road fatalities was 0.6%. They dropped by 1.1% in the next three months while people were largely confined to their homes and limited in their movements. Beginning in July and lasting through September, fatalities rose by more than 13%. Even after traffic volume slowly returned to some semblance of normalcy, drivers continued to speed. Metropolitan areas had a 22% rise in speeds vehicles were traveling when compared to before the pandemic. Of all drivers who received treatment at a trauma center, 65% had alcohol or drugs in their system. Before the pandemic, that was slightly more than half.

Following an auto accident, it may be wise to have legal assistance

People who have been hurt or lost a loved one in an auto accident will be confronted with many challenges physically, emotionally, personally and financially. Medical care is exorbitantly expensive especially if there is an extended hospital stay, surgeries, rehabilitation and the need for long-term care. When there is a fatality, the family will need to think about funeral costs, the psychological problems after an unexpected death, and the loss of personal and financial contributions from the loved one who died. The cause of the accident can be a vital factor in a successful legal filing. Having assistance and representation from a firm that understands all aspects of auto accidents can be essential from the start.