Motor Vehicle Death Rates Jump 20% During the Pandemic

COVID-19 has started to surge again across the US. As more states reinstate stay-at-home measures, one might think the lockdowns would lead to fewer people driving and therefore fewer deadly truck and car accidents. However, a report released by the National Safety Council (NSC) in the fall of 2020 shows that the impact of COVID-19 on the nation’s highway safety is less straightforward than that, and there is an increase in motor vehicle death rates.

According to the NSC report, American roads saw a 20% increase in the fatality rate in the first half of 2020. This is a rather shocking number considering that total miles driven dropped 17% as many Americans had far less need to drive during the quarantine. The 20% spike in motor vehicle death rate is the highest the NSC has ever recorded for any six-month period.

“Because of COVID-19 and states’ shelter-in-place orders … the country should have reaped a safety benefit from less traffic,” said NSC President and CEO Lorraine M. Martin. “Instead, our soaring rate of death speaks to our need to improve safety on our roads. Clearly we must work harder as a society to reverse this, especially since the pandemic is not nearly over.”

We’ll have to wait a few months for statistics covering the full year of 2020, but it appears likely that it could be the first time in three years that traffic fatalities rise. Traffic fatalities have been slowly declining since 2017.

How You Can Help Cut Down on Driving Danger

The NSC offers several tips that everyone can follow to help ensure the safety of our roads during the pandemic and after:

  • Follow speed limits, even when major highways have less traffic than normal; resist the temptation to speed.
  • Practice defensive driving at all times.
  • Wear your seatbelt and make sure all your passengers wear them, too.
  • Never drive after drinking. Call an Uber or Lyft or arrange for a sober driver instead.
  • Don’t text or talk on your phone while driving.

Compensation Is Available If You’ve Lost a Loved One in an Auto Accident

No amount of money could ever be enough to replace the loss of a loved one. Yet, families need and deserve compensation in situations where the loss was the result of someone else’s negligence. An experienced East Texas attorney can help you sort through insurance policies and potentially file a wrongful death lawsuit on your behalf. 

Talk to a Dallas Fatal Accident Attorney 

If you lost a loved one in a Texas motor vehicle accident, you deserve the assistance of skilled attorneys who will pursue your insurance claims and legal claims aggressively. You deserve Ted B. Lyon & Associates. Call 877-Ted-Lyon / 877-833-5966 or send us a message to schedule a free consultation with one of our Dallas lawyers.