Recent quarantines since March reduced vehicle traffic across this country. But this has not increased safety because the number of fatal auto accident injuries rose for each mile traveled, according to the National Safety Council.
Deaths rise for miles driven
The number of vehicle deaths rose in May despite quarantines and shutdowns, according to the NSC. Preliminary data for that month showed a 23.5 percent rise in the fatality rate for miles driven compared to May 2019.
However, the number of miles driven in May 2020 dropped substantially, by 25.5 percent, compared to that time last year. The mileage death rate per 100 million vehicle miles was 1.47 in May compared to 1.19 in May 2019.
May was the third consecutive month that motorists faced more risk of being killed in a crash. In March and April, vehicle fatality rates per miles driven rose compared to rates recorded in 2019.
There was a 36.6 percent rise in fatality rates for miles driven in April 2020. The mileage death rate per miles traveled was 1.47 compared to the 1.08 recorded for 2019. But the number of miles traveled dropped 40 percent from April 2019.
For March, there was a 14 percent increase in the fatality rate for miles driven. The mileage fatality rate per 100 million miles driven was 1.22 in March 2020, which was a 1.07 increase compared to that time last year. But the number of miles driven fell 18.6 percent compared to March last year.
The cause of these increases is currently unclear, according to the NSC. But its president believes that that most crashes involve a behavioral issue such as speeding and drinking and driving. She believes that more deserted highways entice more motorists to drive recklessly and that speeding appears to be the major cause of this problem.
An administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that speeding is tempting on empty roads. Other existing situations, such as impaired driving and seat belt use, still exist.
Victims and their families of an accident caused by a speeding, impaired or negligent driver may be entitled to compensation. An attorney can gather evidence and help assure that this right is pursued in a timely filed lawsuit.