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Increased Traffic Deaths During COVID-19 Despite Less Cars on The Road

Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on May 26, 2020 in Auto Accident

Portland I-405 exchangeDespite decreased traffic amid stay-at-home orders in most states, the National Safety Council reported that March 2020 saw a 14-percent increase in traffic deaths when compared to the same time period last year.

Rizk Law discusses the reasons for the increased number of traffic fatalities, especially locally, in Portland, where the emptier roads have resulted in more reckless driving and excessive speeding.

If someone’s negligent driving behavior caused you harm, we encourage you to contact one of our experienced attorneys. You can learn more about your legal options in our free, no-obligation car accident consultation. There are no out-of-pocket costs to retain our services and no fees to pay unless we get compensation for you first.

Why Have Traffic Fatalities Increased During the Pandemic?

From a logical standpoint, less traffic on the roads should equate to less motor vehicle-related fatalities. In an NPR news article, the National Safety Council’s statistics show that the number of deaths involving motor vehicles dropped eight percent in March 2020 when compared to the same time last year. However, because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the number of miles being driven also decreased by 18 percent.

Getting the Whole Story

After taking a closer look at this data, which was collected across the country, the National Safety Council compared the number of traffic deaths to the number of miles driven in March 2019 and March 2020. This analysis revealed the 14 percent increase in the number of deaths per mile driven. Additionally, for every 100 million miles driven, the number of traffic fatalities rose from 1.07 in March 2019 to 1.22 in March 2020.

For the sake of this analysis, the National Safety Council included the deaths of anyone who was involved in a traffic accident, including:

  • Pedestrians
  • Bicyclists
  • Drivers of all motor vehicles
  • Passengers in motor vehicles

Ken Kolosh, manager of statistics at the National Safety Council, told NPR. "Looking at other recessions what you usually see is a decrease in the number of deaths, or the injuries and fatality rate holding steady or decreasing slightly."

Reckless Driving is a Nationwide Problem

Many states throughout the U.S., including New York, Louisiana, New Orleans and California, are reporting increases in negligent driving behavior, such as speeding and driving impaired. Pedestrian and cycling deaths have escalated across the country as well, especially in 2018, which had record-breaking increases of fatalities due to traffic-related accidents. Portland has also suffered from an increase in traffic deaths caused by reckless driving behavior.

How You Can Protect Yourself As Portland Begins to Reopen

Our attorneys at Rizk Law are dedicated to promoting a safer community and encourage everyone to help keep the roads safe by:

  • Being alert as a driver, pedestrian or cyclist, remembering that the responsibility is shared.
  • Adhering to traffic laws, including staying within state and local speed limits.
  • Being aware of increased traffic as Oregon begins to reopen.
  • Remembering to practice defensive driving, such as using your seat belt, having a designated driver, avoiding distractions while behind the wheel, getting the rest you need to drive safely and watching out for other reckless drivers on the road.

Contact Our Attorneys for Legal Help Today

Getting legal help from a trusted Portland car accident attorney after suffering a car crash injury can provide the peace of mind you need.

At Rizk Law, we welcome the opportunity to provide a zero-cost legal consultation to understand the circumstances that caused your accident, including any injuries you may have suffered. If you retain our services, there is nothing to pay up front. We do not get paid unless you do.

Call now for a FREE case evaluation!