Maryland residents may not realize that despite less traffic on the roads in 2020, there was a huge increase in the number of traffic fatalities. In the District of Columbia alone, there were 37 car accident fatalities in 2020, which was the highest number in over a decade.
2021 was even worse
By mid-November 2021, there had already been 37 car accident fatalities in Washington, D.C., and the year ended up having a worse fatality rate than 2020. The 37th car accident death in 2021 was a 24-year-old restaurant worker who had dreamed of becoming an opera singer. On Nov. 13, a driver struck the young woman as she attempted to cross a street in Adams Morgan.
D.C. is not alone
The recent increase in car accident fatalities, particularly those involving pedestrians, is a nationwide problem. Since the pandemic began, there have been fewer vehicle miles traveled but more deaths, which has led to some alarming statistics. According to Vox reports, the highest fatal car accident spike in over 100 years happened in 2020.
When it comes to pedestrian fatalities alone, there was a 20% increase in pedestrian fatalities per vehicle miles traveled between 2019 and 2020. People riding bicycles, mopeds and motorcycles have also been at an increased risk for car accidents. Non-fatal car accident injury rates are also increasing all across the country.
Stay safe while walking, biking and driving
There are several theories about the cause of the recent spike in car accident fatalities including more alcohol consumption and greater driver distraction. No matter what is causing the problem, knowledge of the increased risk should inspire everyone to take extra caution while using the roads. Limit your distractions, get plenty of rest and always maintain a safe following distance.