sunny.png
Wednesday January 20th, 2021 5:15PM

Risky driving: US traffic deaths up despite virus lockdowns

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

DETROIT (AP) — The number of people killed on the nation's highways rose 4.6% in the first nine months of 2020 despite coronavirus lockdowns that curtailed driving early in the year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 28,190 people died in traffic crashes from January through September of last year, up from 26,941 in the same period of 2019. Final statistics for the full year won't come out until fall.

Authorities blamed the increase on risky driving behavior that developed when there were few vehicles on the road early in the pandemic.

“Preliminary data tells us that during the national health emergency, fewer Americans drove, but those who did took more risks and had more fatal crashes,” the safety agency said in a letter addressed to the nation's drivers.

Traffic deaths rose 0.6% during the first-quarter of 2020, but they fell 1.1% in the second quarter as coronavirus lockdowns restricted movement. Fatalities spiked 13.1% from July through September, the agency said.

“We think the big culprit is speeding,” said Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association. Early in the pandemic, drivers found open roads and drove faster. The behavior continued even as traffic volumes recovered, Adkins said.

“A big factor here is the lack of enforcement. We are hearing from many states that traffic stops have declined during COVID-19. Drivers feel like they can speed and get away with it,” he said.

NHTSA said recent reports show a 22% increase in vehicle speeds in several metropolitan areas over pre-pandemic numbers. Also, a study found that 65% of drivers treated at trauma centers who were hurt in serious crashes had drugs or alcohol in their systems last year. It was 50.6% before the pandemic, NHTSA said. The agency also said fewer people are wearing seat belts.

The agency is telling people not to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, to wear seat belts and to reduce their speeds in order to stay safe. It also says people should make sure their children are in the proper car seat for their size.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Health, AP Business
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Impeachment could become defining moment for Liz Cheney
Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming had already broken with the president on everything from mask-wearing during the coronavirus pandemic to pulling back American troops in Afghanistan
6:47PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Led by Cheney, 10 House Republicans back Trump impeachment
Ten Republican House members — including the No. 3 House GOP leader — supported efforts to impeach President Donald Trump over the deadly insurrection at the Capitol
6:43PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Flint families welcome water crisis charges, seek healing
Some Flint residents impacted by months of lead-tainted water are looking past expected charges against former Gov. Rick Snyder and others in his administration to healing physical and emotional damages left by the crisis
6:42PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Montana governor lifting pandemic restrictions
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte is removing pandemic mandates issued by his predecessor
6:03PM ( 55 minutes ago )
Calls to reopen classrooms grow as teachers get vaccinated
State leaders around the U.S. are increasingly pushing for schools to reopen this winter as teachers begin to gain access to the vaccine against the raging pandemic
5:29PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Las Vegas hospital declares capacity crisis
A Las Vegas hospital says it declared a capacity crisis over the weekend, citing a surge of COVID-19 patients that overfilled its intensive care unit
4:58PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Health
Sephora to fight against racial bias with an action plan
Global beauty retailer Sephora plans to expand the number of Black-owned brands,  scale back on third-party security guards and offer more inclusive marketing as part of a wide-ranging plan to combat racial bias at its stores
6:06PM ( 51 minutes ago )
Powerball jackpot hits $550M as Mega Millions grows to $750M
Another night, another chance to win a giant lottery jackpot
6:04PM ( 53 minutes ago )
Illinois replaces longest-serving legislative leader in US
The Illinois House has elected its first Black speaker to replace the longest-serving legislative leader in modern U.S. history
5:46PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Impeachment could become defining moment for Liz Cheney
Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming had already broken with the president on everything from mask-wearing during the coronavirus pandemic to pulling back American troops in Afghanistan
6:47PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Led by Cheney, 10 House Republicans back Trump impeachment
Ten Republican House members — including the No. 3 House GOP leader — supported efforts to impeach President Donald Trump over the deadly insurrection at the Capitol
6:43PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Flint families welcome water crisis charges, seek healing
Some Flint residents impacted by months of lead-tainted water are looking past expected charges against former Gov. Rick Snyder and others in his administration to healing physical and emotional damages left by the crisis
6:42PM ( 15 minutes ago )
McConnell open to convicting Trump in impeachment trial
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is not ruling out that he might vote to convict the now twice-impeached President Donald Trump
6:33PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Trump impeached after Capitol riot in historic second charge
President Donald Trump has been impeached by the U.S. House over the violent siege of the Capitol
6:32PM ( 25 minutes ago )