Most of us can agree that 2020 was a terrible year for just about everyone. The Covid-19 pandemic claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in the U.S., people lost jobs, the economy tanked and nearly all of us had to spend extended periods of time stuck at home (if we were lucky enough to be able to work or attend school virtually).
It seems that 2020 was also a terrible year for traffic safety, which is ironic when considering the decline in traffic volume caused by the stay-at-home orders in nearly every state. While the data is incomplete and unofficial, safety advocates are already noting disturbing trends. Initial data indicate that even with a steep drop in traffic volume, accident rates did not decline accordingly. In fact, they actually increased in some places because rates of dangerous and reckless driving went up.
Most of the country was on “lockdown” in the second quarter (April through June). According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, accident fatality rates in the U.S. rose 30 percent in Q2 compared to Q1.
Here is a closer look at some of the dangerous trends that emerged during that period:
- Many states saw a sharp increase in citations issued for “super speeding,” which is defined as driving more than 100 mph
- Major cities saw a significant increase in speeding tickets issued by automated traffic cameras
- Motorcycle accident fatalities reached a 30-year high, likely because more Americans were either taking up riding for the first time ever or relearning to ride after quitting decades earlier
- Increased reports of dangerous driving activities like drag racing on city streets and doing “doughnuts,” which involves spinning cars around quickly on their rear wheels
There’s no doubt that all Americans were under stress last year (and continue to be now). But driving dangerously is simply not an acceptable way to blow off steam. It just puts more lives in danger at a time when all of us are already vulnerable.
If you or a loved one were seriously injured by a reckless driver during 2020, you have the right to seek full and fair compensation for your injuries. Please discuss your legal options with an experienced personal injury attorney in your area.