Last week, the U.S. government released updated traffic death statistics for the first half of 2021, and the news was grim. Roadway deaths skyrocket as nation emerges from Covid lockdowns. Nationwide traffic deaths in the first six months of the year hit over 20,000, the highest first-half total since 2006 and the most significant six-month increase since the U.S. Department of Transportation began recording fatal crash data.
COVID Lockdowns Ease and Car Accidents Increase
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called the spike “unacceptable.” His department promised to implement a strategy to address the crisis. The surge in fatalities comes at a time when more people began driving again as COVID lockdowns eased. Preliminary data from the Federal Highway Administration show that vehicle miles traveled in the first six months of the year rose by just over 173 billion miles, marking a 13% increase from last year.
Causes Of Increased Car Accidents
These sobering statistics should be a reminder that auto accidents can occur anywhere at any time and usually take place when a driver least expects it. And with smartphone use at an all-time high, drivers are now more distracted than ever behind the wheel. In fact, a study by AAA revealed that electronic use is the leading source of distraction for teen drivers. All drivers need to take precautions to ensure their safety, which includes:
- Always buckling up.
- Keeping both hands on the wheel.
- Avoid additional driving distractions such as applying makeup or eating food.
When issuing its report, the government noted that behavioral research from March through June showed that speeding and traveling without a seat belt remained higher than before the coronavirus pandemic. Overall, drivers are behaving more recklessly on the roads.
As an experienced personal injury law firm in Tennessee, these are not just numbers to us. We’ve seen first-hand how deadly accidents can turn lives upside down and impact families for life. Let’s do our part and implement proper caution and care while on the roadways and reverse this alarming trend of roadway deaths.
As the holiday season fast approaches, we wish you all safe travels.
Because we care.
Tennessee Car & Accident Attorneys