Initial 2021 motor vehicle accident numbers show fatality spike

Since early 2020, there have been inordinate challenges for Pennsylvanians and people across the United States. As people have tried to deal with them as best they could, other issues arose as a byproduct. That includes the roads becoming more dangerous due to less overall traffic and people feeling as if they could be reckless and break the law with impunity. As a result, there were far more fatal auto accidents from the start of widespread lockdowns through last year. Even as things slowly improve, danger still lurks. The most recent statistics bear this out. When there is an auto accident with injuries and fatalities, it is important for those who were impacted to know how to proceed.

Fatalities on U.S. roads increased by more than 10% in the first quarter of 2021

The most recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) say that there were around 8,730 auto accident deaths from January to March this year. That is more than 10% higher than at the same time in 2020. The number of fatalities in 2020 increased by 7% from 2019 with nearly 38,700 people dying in auto accidents. What is worrisome is that this happened while people – out of necessity – drove significantly less than they did the year before with a 13% reduction in miles traveled.

The reduction in miles traveled has continued into 2021. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) says there was a 2.1% decrease in miles traveled for the first quarter of 2021 when compared to 2020. During that time in 2020, 1.12 people lost their lives for every 100 million miles they traveled. It was 1.26 in 2021. It is believed that driver behavior was a major contributor to the spike. Driving at excessive speeds, ignoring the need to wear a seatbelt, committing DUIs and driving while distracted are believed to be factors in the increase in fatal collisions. These are preliminary statistics.

Even if people are cautious, accidents are still a concern

As society tries to return to some form of normalcy with people getting back to on site work and schools reopening for in-person learning, these road dangers and the potential for motor vehicle accidents will not simply disappear. Injuries and fatalities are a constant risk. With that will be personal, financial and emotional challenges that must be addressed in the aftermath. To recover for what was lost, it might be wise to have assistance in assessing the case, determining a strategy and proceeding. Consulting with those experienced in these situations could be helpful.