In 2020 in New Jersey and throughout the United States, people dealt with major changes because of the ongoing health crisis. Those changes went beyond altered work templates, children attending school from home, the need to adjust vacation plans and taking personal safety precautions. The roads were vastly different as well. While many might have been pleasantly surprised at the lack of traffic when they did head out, that simultaneously resulted in a statistical increase in fatal accidents. This should be considered when taking to the roadways and people who have been in a collision and suffered personal injury or lost a loved one may need legal assistance to determine how to proceed.
NHTSA voices concerns over increase in fatal crashes
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), just shy of 28,200 people died in auto accidents between January and September of 2020. In 2019, there were 26,941 such deaths in that time-frame. While the agency is not expecting the full statistics until September, its initial analysis is worrisome. It is believed that drivers are taking more risks on the road due to the lack of traffic due to the pandemic. For the first three months of 2020, there was a modest rise in fatalities at 0.6%. When the lockdown began, it reduced by 1.1%. Then, between July and September, there was a massive increase of 13.1%.
Researchers say that speeding is a primary cause. Less traffic and fewer law enforcement officers on the road to cite drivers who commit violations gave many the impetus to drive at excessive speeds. The numbers say that there was a 22% increase in speeding in certain metropolitan locations when compared to before the pandemic. Sixty-five percent of drivers who received treatment at trauma centers after an auto accident were found to have alcohol or drugs in their system. Prior to the pandemic, just over half the drivers had substances in their system.
Legal help could be critical for full compensation after a crash
Taking to the road in any capacity whether it is as a driver, a passenger, a motorcyclist, a bicyclist or a pedestrian carries with it a certain level of danger. With the ongoing circumstances, the potential for a collision is clearly increasing. People who have been hurt or lost a loved one in an accident should know they have rights. A legal filing can help them recover compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Evidence must be accrued and the details of the auto accident analyzed. Calling for guidance and assistance is imperative and a qualified legal professional may be able to help.