Between 2017 and 2019, the number of traffic fatalities fell steadily. However, preliminary data for 2020 indicates that this number is on the rise again, even though there are fewer vehicles on the road. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, California roadways have seen fewer drivers; unfortunately, some people have seen these open roads as an invitation to drive faster and more recklessly than before. As we head into the new year, let’s take a look at what the current traffic data shows and what we can do to keep ourselves and others safe out there on the road.
2020 Saw Increased Risky Driving Practices Across the Country
This unprecedented year affected society on virtually every level. For drivers, this meant an uptick in risky behaviors or reckless driving practices that threatened the safety of other vehicles on the road. According to James Owens, a deputy administrator at the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), the agency’s preliminary findings indicate that “since mid-March, more drivers had alcohol or drugs in their systems.” Additional data suggests that drivers are traveling at higher speeds, and fewer people involved in auto accidents have been wearing seatbelts.
Trends in California Auto Accidents This Year
A number of reports emerged in the spring of 2020 of an uptick in speeding tickets issued to California drivers. This trend seems to be continuing into the fall and winter, as California Highway Patrol recently stated that it issued 4,851 citations for speeding in excess of 100 miles per hour in the months of September and October. This marks a 93 percent increase in excessive speeding as compared to the same period last year. These reckless and risky behaviors are prompting state and local agencies to urge residents to exercise caution and care while on the road.
Preparing for 2021 and Beyond
The California Office of Traffic Safety recently launched a new safety campaign called “Go Safely,” reminding drivers to slow down and keep themselves and others safe. As we move forward into the new year, it’s important that we follow safe driving practices to minimize car accident injuries and fatalities. If you do suffer an injury, you should contact an experienced auto accident attorney to discuss your options for pursuing and securing the compensation you need to get your life back on track.
If you have suffered an injury in an auto accident in Temecula or Murrieta, reach out to the trusted legal team at Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation today by calling 1-888-931-WORK (9675).