According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorists throughout the United States have adopted risky driving practices during the pandemic. With fewer drivers on the road, more motorists are speeding, failing to wear seatbelts, and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
The NHTSA report shows that more than 28,190 people lost their lives in car accidents during the first nine months of 2020. This was a 4.6% increase from the same period in 2019. The report also noted a rise in drunk and drugged driving in many states. Researchers found that two-thirds of motorists who suffered fatal or severe injuries had at least one drug in their system at the time of the crash. The report suggests the DUI crashes might reflect a rise in alcohol and drug sales among consumers during the pandemic.
The NHTSA also says the average speeds on urban and rural roads rose during 2020. Speeds increased on average by 22% in most urban areas during the pandemic, according to the report. Significant gaps in speeds between drivers on the same road have been linked to higher rates of crashes, according to the NHTSA.
Seat belt use decreased, with over 78% of drivers wearing their seat belts before the pandemic compared to 71.6% between March and July 2020. The report also noted that the number of passengers who wore seat belts in 2020 dropped from 75.4% before the pandemic to 59.2% between March and July.
The legal team at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP proudly help clients recover fair compensation for car accident injuries. Please don’t hesitate to call our firm today at (800) 462-7160 to set up your free case consultation so we can discuss all of your options under the law.