Report Shows Deadly Driving Crashes Spiked During Pandemic
New data confirms a tragic trend that local officials in Colorado and across the country spotted during the pandemic: As people stayed home and roads opened up, drivers got a lot riskier.
Although Americans drove significantly fewer miles last year, the total number of people killed in auto accidents jumped by more than 7 percent, according to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Nearly 39,000 people died in crashes over the year, the largest number since 2007.
“NHTSA’s research suggests that throughout the national public health emergency and associated lockdowns, driving patterns and behaviors changed significantly and that drivers who remained on the roads engaged in more risky behavior, including speeding, failing to wear seat belts, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” the agency said in a report publishing the data. “Traffic data indicates that average speeds increased throughout the year, and examples of extreme speeds became more common, while the evidence also shows that fewer people involved in crashes used their seat belts.”
More than 23,000 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in crashes, up 5 percent from last year, along with more than 6,200 pedestrians. Another 5,000 motorcyclists (up 9 percent) and 850 bicyclists (up 5 percent).
Fatalities were up 4 percent in NHTSA’s Region 8, which includes Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Across the country, accidents in which police reported that alcohol played a factor were up 9 percent over the year. Single-vehicle crashes (9 percent) and those in which speeding played a role (11 percent) also rose last year.
Injured in a Crash? Here is What You Need to Know
Anyone who is injured in a car accident in Colorado has the right to seek compensation from those responsible, including negligent drivers (and their insurers), shoddy vehicle manufacturers and road crews that create hazards that lead to a crash.
The money damages in these cases is designed to make a person financially whole after an accident. The compensation typically covers medical bills, missed wages, property damage and any reduction in long-term earning capacity. Additional money damages may also be available for pain, suffering and emotional distress.
It is important to have a seasoned personal injury attorney in your corner to help you understand your rights and options.
Let a Denver Accident Attorney Help You
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Colorado, a Denver accident attorney at Levine Law can help you maximize your compensation.
At Levine Law, our personal injury lawyers combine decades of experience helping people injured in a wide range of accidents get the money they deserve. Our firm is proud of our strong track record of success for the people that we represent in the courtroom and through a negotiated settlement.
Our firm is pleased to serve clients throughout Colorado, including in Denver, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins and Loveland. Call us at 303-333-8000 or contact us online to speak with a Denver accident attorney.