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2020’s traffic trends expose grim trends for driver safety

| Mar 25, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

2020 was unquestionably a strange year. Overall, Americans spent significantly less time in their vehicles and commuting to work. Researchers have established that the total miles driven in the United States in 2020 were substantially lower than in other recent years.

Generally, fewer miles traveled translates to fewer crashes and safety risks. Unfortunately, that is not what happened in 2020. Researchers at the National Safety Council discovered that crash rates had actually spiked to the highest that they have been in 13 years.

In other words, although people were spending less time in their cars, they were still at higher risk of getting hurt in their vehicles. What are the noticeable driving and crash trends from 2020? 

There were millions of crashes around the country last year

In 2020, the National Safety Council received reports of roughly 4.8 million collisions lead to injuries. As if that weren’t enough reason for concern, there were 42,060 people who died in crashes last year. That figure is an 8% increase over the total number of road deaths in 2019.

At the same time, people traveled substantially less than usual. In fact, the annual miles driven in the United States were more than decimated. They dropped by 13%. The National Safety Council considers this change cause for alarm. According to their analysis of crash data, 2020 marks the steepest increase from one year to the next in fatal crashes since 1924!

Illinois, thankfully, was not among the eight states that sell more than a 15% increase in deaths. On the other hand, it was not among the nine states who saw traffic fatalities drop in 2020.

What do these crash statistics mean for you?

In theory, learning that crashes have become more common should serve to motivate you to stay as safe as possible while out on the road. While you may still employ best safety practices, it’s clear the other drivers have not done the same in recent months. The National Safety Council and other similar governmental organizations have started to push for federal safety rules that could reduce crashes.

Their suggestions include mandatory ignition interlock devices for those convicted of impaired driving and nationwide bans on the handheld use of mobile devices, including for adults. These changes, if they even occur, will take some time to implement.

In the meantime, there will undoubtedly be hundreds of people in Illinois who wind up hurt or lose a loved one in a crash. People impacted by crashes may have no choice but to pursue compensation for the effects of a collision on a family’s finances and stability.