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Traffic accidents turn more deadly during pandemic

In March 2020, when many Americans began working from home if they could, suddenly road traffic sharply declined. Yet, a recent National Safety Council report notes that traffic crashes and deaths have hit alarming levels amid the pandemic. With less traffic, more drivers are speeding and driving recklessly, leading to more serious accidents.

Traffic deaths and speeding rise

Data from all 50 states, including Kentucky, showed traffic fatalities didn’t drop as much as expected during state lockdown orders. In fact, Kentucky had 764 traffic fatalities in 2020, up from 732 in 2019.

State police patrols in Maryland, Virginia, California and Minnesota reported writing more speeding tickets over the last 11 months. Police in Kentucky found that more drivers involved in serious crashes weren’t wearing seatbelts. Also, more deadly accidents happened on rural roads, more rollover accidents occurred and more people were ejected from their vehicles because of reckless driving.

Safety experts have expressed concern about these dangerous trends, especially as more workers head back to their office jobs in summer and fall.

Dealing with reckless drivers on the road

If you notice reckless, speeding drivers on the road, you can:

  • Call 911 and report them.
  • Assume they don’t see you and avoid traveling in their blind spot.
  • Give them plenty of space, so you don’t have to maneuver quickly to avoid them.
  • Make sure to have your seatbelt on.

You want to be proactive in protecting your safety on the roads. You might be able to avoid a devastating or deadly crash and prevent another driver from being injured too.

 

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