Pandemic Step Aside… Highway Fatalities on the Rise

louisiana highwayJust a few months ago, many states began implementing stay-at-home orders due to the Coronavirus outbreak. As a result of more people staying at home, the number of commuters on the road drastically dropped. With less traffic and congestion on our highways, one would think that the number of motor vehicle accidents also plummeted. But, the truth is the exact opposite of what you would believe.

The National Safety Council reported that the number of motor vehicle fatalities per mile driven increased by 14% in March 2020 compared with March 2019. Although the number of miles driven dropped by over 18%, these deadly accidents continued to increase. In March 2019, the mileage death rate per 100 million miles driven was 1.07. Comparably, this number rose to 1.22 in March of this year. This includes drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclist.

This spike is likely a result of individuals taking advantage of the open roads. With a major decline in traffic, drivers began speeding up and driving recklessly. These fatalities may also be linked to the fact that people are more likely to be driving under the influence due to the lockdown. Another cause of fatal accidents is failing to wear a seatbelt.

The number of fatalities has also increased due to people getting out for a walk or run and failing to be a smart jogger or cyclist. While it is great that many people have taken up exercising during the pandemic, there are still cars on the road, and pedestrians and cyclists need to be aware of traffic.

Police believe that many of these deadly crashes could have been prevented if drivers were simply more cautious. A less congested highway does not give drivers the liberty to speed up or drive recklessly.

car flipped overIn fact, Louisiana was one of the states that saw a considerable jump in highway fatalities. Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of preventable death in the Untied States and a major concern for Louisiana. A study done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety revealed that there were 1.53 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2018. This equals 768 total fatalities for the year.

President and CEO of the National Safety Council, Lorraine M. Martin, begs drivers to be more careful. “Right now, in the midst of a global pandemic and crisis, we should take it as our civic duty to drive safely. If we won’t do it for ourselves, we should do it for our first responders, our law enforcement and our healthcare workers, who are rightly focused on coronavirus patients and should not be overwhelmed by preventable car crashes.”

Because traffic is increasing again with businesses reopening, drivers must be cognizant of the traffic laws. It is always important to be mindful of others on the road to ensure their safety as well as your own.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, do not hesitate to contact us today. For a free consultation, PHONE CARDONE at 504-522-3333, 225-706-3920 (Baton Rouge office), 1-888-892-2736 (toll free) or email us at ccardone@cardonelaw.com.

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