Despite less traffic, fatal auto accidents increased in 2020

| Mar 18, 2021 | Personal Injury |

In Alabama and throughout the United States, researchers, legislators and law enforcement pay attention to auto accident statistics to determine how they happen and act to prevent them. Because crashes cause personal injury and death, this is a worrisome problem. In some instances, there are anomalies in the numbers that must be assessed. Because 2020 was so unusual with people forced to stay at home, school was interrupted and there were other dramatic changes to daily life, the auto accident numbers were surprising. The causes of these crashes should be considered when victims assess their options.

Fewer drivers on the road, but more fatal crashes

The National Safety Council (NSC) released its initial findings for auto crashes in 2020 and discovered that while there was less traffic, there were more deaths. Overall, there were more than 42,000 people killed in collisions. That is an 8% increase from 2019. Since there were less people on the road in general because of the pandemic, these results were unexpected. When accounting for the reduction in the number of miles driven, the actual spike was 24%. This is the worst increase in almost 100 years.

There are certain steps the NSC advocates to promote road safety including reduced speed limits, ensuring people wear their seatbelts and vehicles being equipped with advanced safety features. Other research entities like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will present the results of its study in the spring. However, it did provide the numbers through September 2020. It came to similar conclusions as the NSC. It is unclear why the fatalities rose, but the lack of traffic congestion and limited law enforcement is believed to have given drivers the freedom to excessively speed, drive distracted, drive under the influence and commit other violations they otherwise might not.

Guidance can be essential after an auto accident

When there is a crash and people are injured or lose their lives, there are many issues that must be addressed. If those involved are fortunate enough to survive, that does not mean they will not be confronted with various challenges stemming from personal injury including medical costs, lost wages from being unable to work and the need for extended care. When there is a death, the family left behind must consider how they will adapt to the changed circumstances from such an unexpected loss. To pursue a legal filing, having assistance may be crucial and experienced professionals may be able to help.