A worldwide pandemic saw fewer motor vehicles on the road. While roads and freeways were less-populated and free of traffic jams, many drivers saw the “new normal” as a reason to drive recklessly at excessive speed.
Cambridge Mobile Telematics reported that distracted driving also significantly increased in April 2020, during a time when businesses were shuttered and employees stayed home to work remotely.
Initial traffic data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that this trend may be on the decline. The second quarter of 2022 saw road fatalities decline following seven consecutive quarters of increases year-to-year, starting in the third quarter of 2020. From April to June 2022, traffic fatalities at 10,590 were down by nearly five percent compared to the same quarter in the previous year.
Vehicle miles traveled in the first six months of this year grew by more than 43 billion. An increase of 2.8 percent from last year. Fatalities dropped to 1.27 per 100 million miles traveled, another decrease from 1.3 deaths in the first half of 2021.
An early October report by CCC Intelligent Solutions cited findings that revealed the severity of accident indicators are still above a 2019 baseline. Persistent unsafe driving habits resulted in a 10.5 percent increase in 2021, followed by seven percent growth in the first quarter of this year.
The severity of accidents was also affected by the growth in commercial vehicles traveling on roads. The truck “population” in the United States grew 10 percent higher than in 2019. Passenger vehicles remain a bit below the pre-pandemic baseline.
Regardless of trends that rise and fall, negligent driving that results in serious injuries requires proactive steps to secure compensation for victims of preventable motor vehicle accidents.