There's been an uptick in fatal crashes in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Fatal crashes

A Florida car accident lawyer weighs in on the increase in fatal crashes during 2020.

It's been nearly one year since the COVID-19 pandemic began rapidly spreading across the U.S., resulting in businesses closing their doors. Some workers were laid off while others were forced to work from home. Students continued their education remotely, and many activities and events were canceled. As a result, we saw a significant reduction in traffic congestion.

At first glance, it's easy to assume that fewer cars mean safer roads. But according to preliminary data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), U.S. roads have actually become more dangerous. From January to June of 2020, there was a two percent drop in the number of road deaths in the U.S. from the same period in 2019. The collision death rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled increased by 18 percent, however. That's an increase from 1.06 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled to 1.25 deaths.

Speeding and impaired driving lead to an increase in crashes

According to the Wall Street Journal, thousands of speeding citations were issued by police during the pandemic. For example:

  • State police cited more than 1,000 drivers for traveling at speeds greater than 100 mph in Minnesota. That's twice as many speeding citations as those issued in 2019.
  • Within the first month of the pandemic, more than 2,400 drivers in California were cited by state police for traveling at speeds greater than 100 mph. In 2019, only 1,335 citations were issued during the same period.
  • Several metropolitan areas across the U.S. saw significant increases in speeding during the morning and evening rush hours.

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) warned of a staggering increase in speeding at the beginning of the pandemic. The lack of traffic congestion was the likely cause, as more drivers took the opportunity to drive recklessly.

In addition, the GHSA issued a statement warning that traffic collisions would increase as COVID-19 restrictions began to loosen. More people would likely drink and drive as bars and restaurants opened back up. Moreover, those who didn't drive during the first couple of months of the pandemic would likely be rusty behind the wheel.

Car accident lawyers fighting for motorists injured in Florida

Were you or a loved one injured by a reckless driver? If so, you're likely faced with mounting medical expenses and other damages linked to your crash. In addition, the odds are stacked against you. The other driver's insurance company will take advantage of you if you give them the opportunity. They may lure you into giving a recorded statement or accepting a lowball settlement — both can hurt your chances of being fully compensated for your losses.

Know your rights. Speak to an experienced car accident lawyer who will demand justice on your behalf. The Law Offices of Scott M. Miller, PLLC investigates crashes like yours and builds strong cases for injured motorists and their families. We can help you recover medical expenses, lost wages, property damage and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.

If you lost a loved one in a crash, we could help you recover damages on behalf of the deceased person through a wrongful death claim. This includes:

  • Loss of financial support your loved one would have provided
  • Lost income, wages or earning capacity your loved one would have had
  • Loss of support, companionship, guidance and consortium
  • Medical expenses accrued from the crash
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Pain, suffering, trauma and mental anguish endured by you and your family
  • Punitive damages, if the crash was caused by reckless or malicious behavior

To get started on your claim, schedule a free and confidential legal consultation with our legal team. There is no pressure to hire us to handle your case, just answers to your questions. Contact us online or call our Longwood law office to learn more.