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Researchers Report an Increase in Traffic Fatality Rates per Miles Driven Despite Stay-At-Home Orders

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According to a recent report by The National Safety Council, preliminary traffic fatality data from March 2020 shows that as Americans began driving less and covering fewer miles, the emptier roads became more lethal. Researchers compiled traffic fatality data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Researchers reported an eight percent decrease in the overall number of fatalities in March 2020 compared to March 2019. The number of miles driven also decreased by 18.6 percent compared to the previous year. However, the death rate per 100 million vehicle miles driven was 1.22 in March, up from 1.07 in March 2019. This represents a 14 percent increase in fatality rates per miles driven in March compared to March 2019.

This may come as a surprise given that most Americans began to drive less due to government mandated stay-at-home orders and associated travel restrictions. The traffic fatality data confirms alarming reports across the country that speeding and reckless driving during the health crisis are leading to a disproportionate number of crashes and fatalities. In fact, police agencies across the country have reported that some drivers have been caught traveling at speeds topping 130 mph. The National Safety Council numbers are the first official statistics confirming the trend, which experts believe continued in April and May. The National Safety Council, local law enforcement agencies and other road safety advocates are urging drivers to slow down and to refrain from engaging in reckless or distracted driving.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 1-800-594-4884.

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