Motor vehicle wrecks have long been a leading cause of accidental injuries and accidental deaths in our country. Sadly, there is now strong evidence that indicates that the rate of serious car crashes is rising. As reported by The New York Times, traffic collisions in the United States started surging shortly after the COVID-19 outbreak—and they are showing no signs of slowing down.
In this article, our Atlanta auto accident lawyer discusses the worrying surge in motor vehicle collisions over the past 24 months.
NHTSA: 15-Year High in Traffic Fatalities in 2021 (Record Rate of Increase)
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Georgia in March of 2020, there was an immediate decrease in driving. In Atlanta, there was a nearly 50 percent decrease in traffic volume during the slowest days of the pandemic. As traffic volume gradually returned to normal, there was a noticeable increase in the rate of car accidents. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that highway fatalities increased by the fastest rate in nearly a century in 2020.
Alarmingly, there is now overwhelming evidence that shows that 2021 was as bad of a year for car accidents as 2020. Indeed, 2021 was actually significantly more dangerous on our roads because traffic volume returned to normal. According to a report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 32,000 people were killed in auto accidents in the first nine months of 2021. The highest number in 15 years. That represents the sharpest one-year spike in highway fatalities that the NHTSA has observed.
Highway Safety Officials Believe Risky Driving Behaviors are on the Rise
Highway safety researchers are still investigating the spike in serious traffic accidents that hit Georgia and the rest of the United States at the same time as the COVID-19 outbreak. There is still more work that needs to be done to determine exactly what is happening. That being said, officials believe the primary cause of the spike in serious and deadly car accidents is an increase in many of the riskiest driving behaviors. Specifically, highway safety officials suspect an increase in:
- Distracted driving; and
- Intoxicated driving.
It is clear that more needs to be done to improve highway safety. The overwhelming majority of car accidents are caused primarily by human error, specifically driver error. That means that most auto collisions are preventable. Motorists in Georgia must drive safely, including avoiding speeding, distracted driving, and intoxicated driving.
Schedule a Free Consultation With an Auto Accident Lawyer in Atlanta
At Ponton Law, our Atlanta car crash attorney provides aggressive, results-oriented guidance and support to injured victims and their families. Our firm has what it takes to hold insurance companies accountable for paying claims. If you or your loved one was hurt in a motor vehicle wreck, we can help. Contact us now for your no-cost, no strings attached consultation. From our Atlanta office, we represent car accident victims in Fulton County, DeKalb County, and Cobb County.