Risky Driving and Fatal Crashes Surged During Pandemic.

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many Americans to stay home and stay put. But even as people stayed home in the first six months of the pandemic, riskier driving surged, leading to a troubling uptick in fatal crashes, preliminary data shows. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a report showing why car accident attorneys should be hired early on: Traffic deaths rose, fewer drivers and passengers wore their seat belts and more drivers who were injured in car accidents had drugs or alcohol in their system. Highway deaths surged during the pandemic because of open roads. During the first nine months of 2020, over 28,190 people died in car accidents — an increase of 4.6% from the same period in 2019, when 26,941 people died, according to separate NHTSA report.

Seat belt use fell

Seat belt use also declined during the first several months of the pandemic. Before the pandemic, around 78.1% of drivers wore their seat belts. Between March and July 2020, that number fell to 71.6%.Passenger seat belt use declined even more steeply, from 75.4% before the pandemic to 59.2% between March and July 2020, though in the cases of both drivers and passengers, seat belt use increased slightly between late July and September 2020. Speeding in urban environments surged, with open roads providing a tempting avenue for some drivers.

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