COVID-19 attaches great importance to personal health and safety. As it may be, it’s just a pandemic. But at least there is one place where people don’t get memos: American roads.
Even though Americans will drive hundreds of billions of miles less in 2020 than they did in 2019, fatal road accidents are on the rise in the year of city lockdowns. The number of deaths in car accidents during the pandemic has been unprecedented in a decade.
According to the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), It is estimated that 38,680 people will die from traffic in 2020, an increase of 7.2 percent in 2019.
an astonishing increase This brings the number of traffic fatalities to levels not seen since 2007, during a year when Americans drove much less than usual. Overall, there were approximately 430.2 billion miles less traveled, a 13.2 percent drop from the previous year.
New figures show that last year’s country road trips were more at risk overall compared to last year. The death rate per 100 million vehicle trips (VMT) rose to 1.37 in 2020, up from 1.11 in 2019, and ended the yearly decline in mortality that began in 2016, indicating a state of global warming. safer driving
A good run now seems to be interrupted. Although an in-depth psychological explanation of what happened is beyond the realm of NHTSA statistics, the body perceived dangerous changes in driver behavior months ago.
“In the first months of the national public health emergency Driving patterns and behaviors have changed dramatically,” NHTSA explained in a January update on COVID-19 traffic safety.
“Among the drivers still on the road Some people have risky behaviors. including acceleration not wearing seat belts and driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.”
The latest numbers were published last week. It provides the most comprehensive overview of the number of traffic fatalities in the US in 2020, showing that the deadliest months come in the second half of the year. After the states Started back on after previous shutdown and stay home. in the first half of 2020 (which is closer to the number of less traffic fatalities in March, April and May compared to 2019).
While it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what makes people driving in more dangerous ways, the NHTSA acknowledges the “remarkable outlook” of a number of dire factors that contributed to the fatal accidents that year. already
These include a significant increase in deaths on rural, urban and interstate roads. Death at night and on weekends Accidents involving older vehicles, rollovers, speed-related collisions and more
The biggest increases in 2019 included deaths related to non-Hispanic blacks (up 23 percent), passenger evictions (up 20 percent), and missed passengers. Control (15 percent increase and tied to interstate road fatalities in cities)
Not every aspect of driving in the US in 2020 is more serious. Elderly-related deaths (age 65 and older) were down 9 percent, and large truck deaths were slightly lower (about 2 percent).
According to NHTSA, traffic data indicates that average driver speeds have increased in the second and third quarters of the year, and top speeds are becoming more common. Although, as accident victims seem to use their seat belts less, Medication use is also an important factor.
“NHTSA study of road users who were seriously injured or killed at five participating trauma centers. It found that nearly two-thirds of drivers tested positive for at least one active drug. including alcohol, marijuana or opium between mid-March and mid-July,” the new report explains.
“The proportion of drivers who tested positive for opioids nearly doubled after mid-March. Compared to the past 6 months while the prevalence of cannabis has increased by about 50 percent.”
Ultimately, NHTSA said the increase in risky traffic safety behaviors, first seen in Q2 and Q3, continued into the last quarter of the year. This means that although the overall travel frequency is reduced, the “disturbing tendency” of the increase is severe. Injury rates throughout the latter part of 2020 resulted in
NHTSA said, “Dealing with the needs of vulnerable road users is We need to understand how their risks might change in 2020,” NHTSA said, noting that more research is needed to help explain the changes in driver behavior and the resulting crashes.
Drive safe everyone. People’s lives really depend on it.
The findings are available on the NHTSA website.