Despite the heavy drop in traffic and travel, vehicular deaths were up throughout the U.S. in 2020.
Traffic and auto accidents plummeted in 2020, but U.S. roads and highways didn’t become any safer. Despite the drop in driving, the number of vehicular deaths per miles traveled rose throughout the U.S. in 2020.
For example, New York City, the original epicenter of the coronavirus, is on course this year to record the highest number of deaths of drivers and passengers since 2014, according to city officials.
A recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) compared traffic data from before and during the pandemic and found that roads and highways are more hazardous in the COVID era.
According to the NHTSA, the number of people killed compared to the number of overall miles traveled rose in 2020 from 1.06 deaths per 100 million vehicles miles traveled to 1.25 in 2020 — an increase of nearly 18%. This figure only worsened, nearly doubling in the second quarter of 2020 to 1.42 deaths per 100 million miles.