Despite a slowdown in both traffic and traffic deaths in 2020, due to lockdowns related to the pandemic, new stats have indicated that there’s a steady rise in traffic fatalities in the United States, due to factors such as driving while under the influence, speeding, and not using a seat belt.
In fact, there were just over 8,700 deaths from car accidents in the first quarter of 2021, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That is up from 7,900 fatalities in the same time in 2020.
Those numbers equate to a 10.5 percent rise year over year, despite a 2.1 percent decrease in the number of miles traveled. The increase is a little puzzling. The same thing happened in 2020, as Americans actually traveled 13 percent less miles but the number of fatalities increased 7.2 percent to a total of 38,680 last year. That number was the highest since 2007. Likewise, the fatalities in the first quarter was also the highest we’ve seen since 2007.
One of the largest contributing factors to the increase in deaths in 2020 was that drivers who stayed on the road following lockdowns drove more risky than usual, according to the NHTSA.
A number of experts believed that due to roadways being less congested, the open roads invited risky behavior from drivers, as they believed police would be less likely to issue fines as a result of the pandemic.
The concerning numbers don’t stop there either. In 2020, fatalities involving drivers who were not wearing seat belts increased by 15 percent, deaths involving speeds above the limit were up by 10 percent, and accidents with fatalities related to alcohol impairment increased by 9 percent.
According to data, there were more severe accidents involving drugs or alcohol last year than in prior years.
June traffic stats that were recently released showed that driving in the United States has almost returned to pre-pandemic levels.
In an effort to make driving safer, the NHTSA delivered the latest Countermeasures That Work report. Recommendations in this study seem to mostly be common sense, but most drivers should know them. It includes preventing drunk, distracted, and sleepy driving; keeping both those on bicycles and motorcycles safer; and ensuring that people put on a seatbelt.
Keep Your Focus on Driving
– Drivers should be focused solely on driving the entire time they are behind the wheel. Don’t do anything else besides keeping your focus on the road. No shaving, talking on the phone or fiddling with the radio.
– Texting during a trip is one of the most dangerous activities you can do. Don’t do it, no matter what.
– Take it easy. Speeding reduces your reaction time and heightens the severity of an accident.
– Pay close attention to others on the road and what they’re doing in your vicinity. Be prepared for the unexpected.
– Assume that other drivers will do something insane and be ready to prevent it.
– Do not tailgate other drivers. Maintain a 2-second buffer between you and the vehicle ahead of you.
– If the weather conditions are severe, that number should be 4 seconds.
Know What to Do After An Accident
– If you are involved in an accident, the first thing you should do is get yourself to safety. Make sure you are away from traffic and cannot be harmed before attempting to help others.
– Photograph and document everything. While your own safety is your top concern, your next priority is to make sure you can prove who is at fault and liable for any damages or injury, if there are any.
– Contact a good lawyer. There’s two things to think about: does your lawyer focus on car accidents? Where is he based? If you are involved in an accident in New York City, an accident lawyer nyc is your best bet. If it took place in Bridgeport, Connecticut, then accident lawyer Bridgeport,CT is the lawyer you want to talk to. Getting legal advice will help you drastically if you need to get your car repaired or be compensated if you were injured.