Why are road deaths increasing and people driving less? – Zimo News


The latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirms recommendations already made by local agencies. Last year, the number of deaths on U.S. roads increased significantly again, a 10.5% increase from the high death rate in 2020. The agency estimates 42,915 deaths in 2021 and 38,824 in 2020, a 7.1 percent increase from 2020. There was a decline in 2019. While the current situation isn’t as bad as it was in the 1970s, it’s still the highest death rate per capita in 16 years, and everyone is trying to figure out why.

Road deaths have been rising since the start of the pandemic, confusing anyone who counts crashes, as supporting data also shows a marked decrease in driving during the period. Historically, years when people were reluctant to hit the road tended to result in far fewer traffic-related fatalities due to a bad economy. We can see this happening in 1942, when the United States was preparing to enter World War II by rationing everything from fuel to rubber. Another clear example occurred in 1932, when the country reached the darkest point of the Great Depression. In fact, there have been few examples of improvements in road deaths per capita since the prewar period, and the examples that do exist coincide directly with recessions.

These examples became less obvious after 1942. But those with enough time will no doubt notice that whenever America goes through a period of financial hardship, traffic accidents tend to decrease. Correlation is not causation.but you can Comparing every recession on the books relatively Government driving data dating back to 1900 draw your own conclusions. Although my point remains that when the average person suddenly spends less time at the wheel, there is less chance of confusion.

However, this puts the hypothesis at odds with our current reality. If every time Americans have to wear their seat belts and park their cars at home, road accidents are really falling, why has there been such a huge increase in fatalities over the past two years?

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) says the combination of increased speed, distracted driving, drunk driving and ‘roads designed for speed, not safety’ is setting US states down the wrong path – which it says undermines decades of progress.Even though the group may not be the one to come up with solutions everyone likes because it has Powers algorithmic software that continuously tracks the behavior and location of individual drivers using enhanced traffic and in-vehicle camerasBuilding on initiatives already planned by the EU, the system could also monitor vehicle status and “ideally” provide the ability to send real-time information from inside the vehicle to local law enforcement, as long as the algorithm is triggered by a series of unwanted actions. The police can then remotely disable the car and deal with the passengers.

Like or hate the long-term view of the GHSA, there’s definitely a reason for it when it comes to distracted driving. While everyone agrees that cell phones are responsible for the annual traffic accident spike, the death rate has remained relatively stable as cell phones entered the mainstream. But automakers may have opened Pandora’s box and introduced large touchscreens at the expense of easier-to-use buttons, knobs and switches. The driver now has to interact with the visual display and is difficult to do using muscle memory alone.

Undoubtedly, drug and alcohol use has also increased since 2010, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting a horribly borderline increase in the frequency of fatal overdose since the beginning of the pandemic. Early data from the CDC suggests that in 2021 alone, nearly 108,000 Americans will die from a drug overdose. Given this total, it’s easy to assume that more people than in the past are driving while intoxicated.

Speed ​​is the more difficult factor to determine. While there have been many reports of speeding out of control in early 2020 due to empty roads due to the pandemic, specific data is limited to local law enforcement. This creates a patchwork of limited information and assumes it has become a national problem. But later reports suggested it was a temporary problem. That’s not to say the speed doesn’t affect the death toll, it’s just that the resulting data is less consistent and harder to prove has become a problem across the country. Speeding has undoubtedly increased in the spring and summer of 2020, it is just not known if it will continue into 2021.

Whatever the reason, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the U.S. faces a crisis on the road that must be addressed. The Department of Transportation is watching the so-called decline in seat belt use, the aforementioned speeding charges and the assumption that more people will take out-of-state road trips as the pandemic subsides. While possible, the last question doesn’t make much sense if one considers that there will also be a significant increase in road fatalities in 2020. anyway, Biden administration pledges $5 billion to cities There is an interest in using the funds to slow cars under the Safe Streets and Roads for All program.

While it’s technically a car safety initiative, the funding is largely used to increase bike lanes, widen sidewalks and try to persuade commuters with cars to use public transport. Having more walkable towns isn’t a bad idea (unless it makes driving a nightmare), and it can even improve pedestrian safety. But something tells me that in urban environments people are more at risk than those who lack adequate car alternatives. There has been a significant increase in vehicle-related fatalities over the past two years, and the fact that they coincide with a period when people are undoubtedly driving less may indicate a very serious problem.

Are driver assistance programs making people’s skills so dull that they are now poorer? Did the drug epidemic play a role? Is the influx of oversized touchscreens making it harder for people to keep their eyes on the road? Is this a result of America’s aging population (and the average driver)? Or has the average motorist really turned into a lead-footed lunatic who hardly cares about the well-being of others under the daily pressures of life?

[Image: mikeledray/Shutterstock]

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