Over the last year, you likely noticed significant changes to the traffic patterns on Florida roadways. With more people working from home and others uncomfortable going out at all, many cities saw dramatically fewer cars on the road.
While fewer people were driving, the ones on the roads were not driving as safely as when more cars were on the road. There were many reports of people driving faster or generally more recklessly. Unfortunately, unsafe driving habits lead to some deadly consequences.
Here’s an update on how pandemic driving impacted traffic fatalities.
The worst of both worlds
With fewer cars on the streets and more room to travel quickly, significantly more risky behavior was taking place on the roads. In addition to more people speeding, an increased number of people not wearing seatbelts was observed.
Often, the difference between a collision and a near miss is a few seconds. Faster driving means having less time to react to sudden changes in the road ahead.
Over the years traffic deaths tend to fluctuate, but last year was markedly different. The combination of increased speed and risky behaviors made dangerous crashes deadly.
Last year, the U.S. saw a more significant increase in traffic deaths than the previous 13 years, with over 35,000 people dying in car accidents.
Not just cars
Traffic deaths were up seven percent, but cars were not the only cause of traffic accident on the rise. Motorcycle and bicycle deaths were up nine percent and five percent, respectively.
Not every type of traffic fatality saw an increase. Large truck deaths and fatalities among those over 65 both fell last year.