‘An unacceptable outcome’: Traffic deaths rise in 2020, even with fewer people on the roads

U.S. and World

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Traffic deaths on U.S. roadways rose in 2020, compared to 2019, according to a new report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), despite the fact that there were fewer drivers on the road.

According to a release, 11,260 people were killed on U.S. roadways in the third quarter of 2020, a 13.1 percent increase from that same time period the year before.

“Far too many people are dying on America’s roadways,” Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) Executive Director Jonathan Adkins said. “While millions of families are focused on remaining safe by staying home and wearing masks during the pandemic, this relentless attention to safety needs to extend to the driver’s seat and our nation’s roads, as well.”

Though the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has not yet released its 2020 statistics, in 2019, there was, on average, one crash every 4.1 minutes and 180 people injured daily because of traffic crashes.

“The vaccine for unsafe driving is available to every American right now — slow down, buckle up, stow your phone, and never drive impaired,” Adkins said. “If we don’t inoculate ourselves against these dangerous driving habits, a lasting impact of this pandemic will be even more traffic deaths — an unacceptable outcome.”

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