2020 brought about several changes to our daily habits. Driving habits was certainly one of them, and not in ways you might expect.
With fewer drivers on the road, you’d think there would be fewer accidents and fatalities, but the opposite happened −in staggering amounts. Driving during the pandemic turned out to be riskier and even more dangerous than before 2020.
Here’s the four surprising ways that studies found driving habits changed in 2020 and 2021:
1. Motor vehicle accident fatalities increased while injuries decreased
Despite traveling less, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that the fatalities related to accidents increased at a rate not seen since World War II. In 2020, 38,824 people were killed in traffic crashes in the U.S. This is about a 6.8% increase from 2019. The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles driven (VMT) increased 21%, which is the largest percentage increase on record.
Meanwhile, injuries in motor vehicle accidents decreased by about 17%. This sort of contrast continues with several of the other changes they observed.
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