2020 Saw Surge In Traffic Deaths In The United States

Posted by Benjamin P. Melnick | Aug 11, 2021 | 0 Comments


Covid has dominated headlines and touched virtually every aspect of life in the United States in 2020. The year was disorienting, anxiety-filled, and defied logic in so many ways. According to a new report published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), that trend carried into traffic deaths

NHTSA Traffic Accidents 

NHTSA estimates that approximately 38,680 people died on the road last year. That is a 7.2% increase over 2019 and the largest total since 2007. The fatality rate also increased per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, too.  

This may seem strange since there were fewer people on the roads, and people drove less. That is probably due, in part, to reduced travel, reduced commuting, fewer businesses being open, and overall life is a little more isolated in 2020. 


Why Did traffic fatalities Increase?

So how did both the number and rate of vehicle fatalities increase?  The early data is suggesting that the driving was riskier, which resulted in worse collisions, resulting in more fatalities. This came in the form of increased speeds, alcohol, and drugs, as well as failure to use seatbelts. 

Hopefully, driving behavior will return to a safer pattern and trend with life creeping back to normal in 2021.  For assistance or questions related to a motor vehicle collision in Oregon or Washington, feel free to contact our office and speak with an attorney today.


About the Author

Benjamin P. Melnick

Ben Melnick joined the firm in 2018. He graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor's degree in 2010, and went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from Gonzaga University School of Law. In 2016, he was named as the Clark County Bar Association's Rising Star. His practice focuses on personal injury, auto accidents, biking accidents, wrongful death, and insurance disputes. Outside work, Ben likes spend time with his wife outdoors—mostly running, hiking, and skiing—and playing soccer.


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