When motor vehicle accident rates increase, it pushes experts to look into the reasons behind it. Keeping roadways safe is a constant battle. It seems that even when you see accident rates go down, there is always a rebound, which leads to more research in an effort to bring rates down and keep them there.
AP News states that there was an increase in accidents for the first nine months of 2020.
A comparison to 2019
When you look at rates from January to September of 2019 and 2020, the statistics show there was almost a 5% increase in accident-related deaths. 2020 data indicated a little over 28,000 deaths, while the same period in 2019 had just under 27,000.
In 2020, people drove less. Fewer vehicles on the road should have led to a reduction in accidents since overcrowded roadways are often a factor experts cite as a cause of accidents. However, the speculation on 2020 is that the reduction in traffic was so extreme that drivers who were on the roads took more chances and drove more recklessly.
Another change for 2020 was less law enforcement presence on roadways. Traffic stops went down significantly. Drivers who know they will not face consequences for speeding or other reckless habits are more likely to engage in these behaviors. So, fewer officers on roads meant more drivers feeling free to do as they wished.
Compounding things was that later in 2020, traffic picked up with more people driving again, but those drivers who had been driving did not adjust their habits. This led to a peak in accident deaths from July to September.
Hopefully, in this new year, you will see a decline in the statistics due to drivers taking more responsibility and driving safely again.