Riskier driving behavior and more distractions were most likely the causes for an increase in fatal motor vehicle accidents in 2020, despite there being fewer cars on the road and fewer miles travelled nationally.
Increase in death toll in 2020
2020 started off in line with 2019 with regards to car accidents. In line with 2019, between January and March 2020, there were 1.11 deaths per 100 million driven miles. However, March onwards as the pandemic began and travel restrictions were placed, things changed, While South Carolina residents may think this means the number of fatalities decreased, this was not the case. The rate increased to 1.45 deaths per 100 miles between April and June and 1.48 from July to September.
This basically amounts to a total of 28,190 car accident fatalities between January and September, compared to 26, 941 in the same period of 2019. This came with a 355.5 billion decrease in miles driven. This is why the death per mile rate increased dramatically.
Reasons for increase in car accidents
The statistics come as a surprise, as there were fewer cars on the road for much of the start of 2020. However, experts claim the emptier roads may have caused people to drive faster and engage in riskier behavior than they normally would have. This is why there were more deaths. Additionally, speed limits were not also strictly enforced. Additionally, the stress of the pandemic and associated anxieties may have caused an increase in distracted driving.
Losing someone suddenly in a tragic car accident, especially one caused by someone else’s negligence, can be traumatizing for loved ones. They may suddenly be left with expenses they were not prepared for, while they are coming to terms with their loss. One way to get accountability and closure may be by pursuing a wrongful death or personal injury lawsuit.