2020 was a year that saw many people change their driving schedules. They put off trips, canceled vacations and started working from home. The total traffic on usually-packed California roads dropped noticeably.
Over the decades, traffic levels have always tended to increase with the population, but fatal accidents have tended to decline. This is a notable feat that really shows how much safer modern cars really are. Even with more people on the roads, fewer and fewer people lose their lives.
You would think, then, that waning traffic levels in 2020 would lead to a nice drop in fatalities. That’s where the statistics start to change. Deadly accidents actually increased during the year.
Why did this happen?
Simply looking at the statistics is not as important as identifying the reasons why they changed. One is driver impairment, which the NHTSA says was one of the major contributing factors. More drivers were impaired behind the wheel, leading to a spike in very serious crashes, even if there were fewer cars on the road in total.
The second contributing factor was speeding. While speeding has always been an issue to some degree, it may have increased in 2020 when the roads opened up with their lower traffic levels, making speeding easier. There were not as many drivers on the road, but when more of them were impaired and breaking the speed limit, it’s easy to see why so many accidents happened.
If you lost a loved one in a crash caused by one of these drivers, you have every right to seek financial compensation. It can help to cover funeral costs, medical bills and much more during this difficult time.