Travel is Down, But Fatal Accidents are Up

Elevated view of broken cars after accident.

The U.S. recorded its highest fatal road accident total in 13 years, despite fewer people being on the road due to the pandemic, according to an article this month in Trib Live.

Fatalities were up 7 percent from the previous year, killing an estimated 38,680 people, the most since 2007. This increase occurred during a year when the number of miles traveled fell by 13 percent. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) attributed the increase to risky driving behaviors such as speeding on less busy roads, driving under the influence, or failing to wear seatbelts.

A deeper dive into the statistics showed that motorcyclist deaths were up 9 percent, bicyclist deaths rose 5 percent, and people killed in passenger vehicles were up 5 percent. Pedestrian deaths remained steady. Traffic deaths involving older Americans, ages 65 and beyond, fell 9 percent. Large truck fatalities dropped 2 percent.

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