Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Business https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Despite COVID-19 roadblocks, US roads are becoming much more deadly

Despite COVID-19 roadblocks, US roads are becoming much more deadly

Car accident on the main road during rain at night.  Ambulance in the foreground and police car in the background.
Enlarge / The three months between July and September 2020 saw a massive increase in traffic fatalities in the United States.

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U.S. roads became significantly more deadly in 2020, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Although figures for the full year will not be available for some time, NHTSA has calculated the number of deaths on our roads in the first nine months of 2020, and the news is bleak. Between the beginning of January and the end of September last year, 28,1

90 people were killed in collapses, an increase of 4.6 percent – or 1,249 more deaths – during the same nine months in 2019. (The full statistics for 2020 will not be available until later in the year.)

What makes this increase even worse news is that 2019 actually saw one reduce in traffic fatalities, which fell by two percent compared to 2018. In fact, when NHTSA published the 2019 statistics at the end of December last year, it included a preliminary analysis of the first half of 2020 and found that traffic volume fell by 16 percent, and traffic fatalities fell by 3.3 percent in the same period.

(As the decrease in completed vehicle environments was greater than the decrease in deaths, the death rate per 100 million completed vehicle environments actually increased from 1.06 to 1.25 when comparing 1H 2019 and 1H 2020.)

Things got much, much worse in the months between July and September, when deaths rose by a massive 13.3 percent. The primary sinner? Empty roads that encourage motorists to drive faster. Over the course of 2020, several states have reported large increases in speed tickets, and especially those issued to motorists traveling 25 km / h (40 km / h) or more above the speed limit. To make matters worse, it seems that more of the drivers who get into collisions are found with drugs or alcohol in their system, and fewer have used seat belts.

Around the country, hospitals are bowing under the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic with complete intensive care unit and no spare capacity to deal with people driving too fast and then crashing. Just because the roads are empty does not make them your private racetracks – slow down and make sense, because if you get into a crash, you may find that the hospital can not actually save your life.

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