Traffic Deaths Up 8 Percent Despite Less Miles Travelled
U.S. auto crashes resulted in an estimated 42,060 deaths last year, up eight percent compared with 2019, while the fatality rate per 100 million miles driven was up 24 percent, according to the National Safety Council. Federal data shows reckless behavior such as speeding and the use of alcohol, marijuana, and opioids are contributing factors to the increase in traffic deaths, said Ken Kolosh, the nonprofit's manager of statistics. “The pandemic appears to be taking our eyes off the ball when it come’ to traffic safety,” Kolosh said.
“It’s kind of terrifying what we’re seeing on our roads,” said Michael Hanson, director of the Minnesota Public Safety Department’s Office of Traffic Safety. “We’re seeing a huge increase in the amount of risk-taking behavior.”