Despite driving significantly fewer miles over the past year due to Covid-19, there were actually almost 3,000 more car accident deaths in 2020, as compared to 2019. According to a recent study by the National Safety Council, over 42,000 people lost their lives in car accidents over the past twelve months – an eight percent increase from the prior year. Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer Joseph Lipsky knows too well of the carnage on our roadways over the past year, having helped many families who were victims of deadly crashes in Miami, Plantation and Boca Raton.
While safety advocates had hoped for a silver-lining during Covid, that a significant drop in vehicular traffic would result in an equally impactful drop in car accident deaths; the sad part is that those who choose to drive during the lockdowns actually demonstrated riskier driving behavior, including driving at high speeds. The dangerous driving was also documented by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which confirmed that more speeding meant deadlier crashes. Those findings seem out of place when looking back at Florida’s March and April, 2020, state of emergency and stay-at-home orders.
Most observers point to Covid-19 as significant contributing factor in the rise in deadly crashes – a statistic which is omitted from the Covid-19 reported death numbers. The safety council calculated that Americans drove nearly thirteen percent less over the past year; yet, the rate of driving deaths per 100 million vehicle miles driven increased by nearly twenty-five percent to 1.49, the greatest percentage increase in over 100 years.