Increased Motor Vehicle Deaths in Spite of Less Traffic in 2020

Even with a dramatic decrease in miles driven due to the COVID-19 pandemic, motor vehicle deaths in 2020 were the highest they’ve been in 13 years. According to preliminary data from the National Safety Council (NSC), an estimated 42,060 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes across the U.S. last year. That’s an eight-percent increase from 2019, and the preliminary estimated rate of death on roads last year spiked 24 percent from the previous 12-month period, even with miles driven dropping 13 percent.


Motor Vehicle Death Rate Increasing

Most disturbingly, the increase in the death rate is the highest estimated year-over-year jump calculated since 1924, which is a whopping 96 years. Additionally, an estimated 4.8 million people were seriously injured in crashes last year. With the news of these numbers, the Biden administration, along with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, are committing to zero roadway deaths by 2050.


Road to Zero Coalition 

The NSC and other safety advocates involved in the Road to Zero Coalition are calling on officials to double down on what we know is working to improve roadway safety. Listed below are some of the life-saving measures they’re calling for.


Road to Zero Coalition’s Life-Saving Measures 

  • Equitable implementation of roadway safety laws 
  • Mandatory ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers, lowering state BAC levels to .05, and better education about when impairment begins 
  • Lowering speed limits 
  • Installation and use of automated enforcement to support safe speeds and adherence to traffic lights 
  • Laws banning all cell phone use, including hands-free 
  • Seat belt laws upgraded from secondary to primary enforcement 
  • All new drivers under 21 should adhere to the three-tiered licensing system 
  • Automated Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) should be standardized and accelerated into the fleet 
  • Motorcycle helmet laws should be passed or reinstated  
  • Communities and municipalities should adopt comprehensive programs for cyclist and pedestrian safety


Car Accidents in Southern California

After any kind of car accident caused by the dangerous actions of another driver, it’s a good idea to speak with a Personal Injury lawyer about your case. If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a car accident caused by a dangerous or distracted driver in San Diego or anywhere in Southern California, contact the skilled and proven team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. at 1.800.GO.HARRIS for a free case consultation today.

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