Traffic-related fatalities increased by 10.5% in the first quarter of 2021 as people were driving much less during this time, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The organization asserts that speeding and other dangerous driving behaviors that became more evident during the pandemic significantly reduced the number of vehicles on the road. This estimate was released at the beginning of September 2021 and showed that 8,730 individuals lost their lives in car accidents during the first three months of 2021 which is an increase from the 7,900 people who died in car wrecks in the same period from the year before. As a Texas resident, here are some important things you should know to protect yourself on the road.
Car accident fatalities
The acting administrator for the NHTSA makes it clear that US citizens and leaders have to address the devastating loss of life the country witnessed on the roads because of car accidents in 2020 by making a concerted effort to make the roads safer.
The increase in car accidents came as driving in the United States declined by 2.1% or around 14.9 billion miles according to Federal Highway Administration preliminary data. The organization reports that the fatalities per 100 million miles travels for the first three months of 2021 went up by 1.26 which is an increase from the estimated rate of 1.12 during the same time period from the previous year.
What the data indicates
The NHTSA asserts that the data suggest dangerous driving behaviors and patterns that became more apparent in 2020. During this time, driving was down overall but there were more car accidents. Some of the risky driving behaviors cited included not wearing seat belts, speeding, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The organization is working with state and federal partners in safety to address dangerous driving behaviors and make the roads safer.