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Pandemic years have seen sharp rise in traffic deaths

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a variety of unexpected consequences in New Mexico and throughout the United States. For example, even though many more people have been staying home and not driving as much, there has been a steep rise in highway fatalities. According to The New York Times, the increase in highway deaths during the pandemic is the largest increase in roughly 80 years. Specifically, the per-capita traffic fatality rate went up 17.5% from the third quarter of 2019 to last summer’s rate. That was the most significant fatality rate hike since World War II.

Aggressive driving on the rise

It’s difficult to pin down exactly why fatal car accidents have been on the rise, but aggressive driving appears to have been a factor. In the last two years, there have been many instances of drivers taking out their frustrations on other motorists. Additionally, regarding the recent data, the U.S. Department of Transportation noted that intoxicated driving, running red lights, speeding and failing to wear seat belts were all linked to the higher fatality rates.

Minority communities hit the hardest

Motor vehicle death rates spiked highest in areas with the most minority and low-income residents, a Governors Highway Safety Association analysis showed. The Times attributed the sudden spate of highway fatalities in those areas partially to poor road conditions, lesser quality vehicles and lack of crosswalk access for pedestrians. The number of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents has also surged during the same period. 

Were you injured in a traffic accident?

If you suffered injuries due to another driver’s reckless or negligent behavior, it is important to understand your options for getting the financial compensation you need to move forward. You may be entitled to significant compensation for your injuries, and it is always best to speak with a personal injury attorney before you accept an insurance company’s initial settlement offer. You may be owed significantly more compensation than the amount initially offered by the insurance company.

To learn more, please see our overview of Motor Vehicle Accidents in New Mexico. Our firm also represents grieving families who have lost loved ones due to wrongful death.