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NHTSA: Significant Increases in 2020 Traffic Fatalities

Posted on in Personal Injury

Comal County Personal Injury LawyerLast month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its 2020 annual traffic crash data report – and the news is not good. According to the NHTSA’s data, there were 38,824 victims killed in traffic accidents across the country in 2020, the largest number of deaths in 15 years.

National Statistics

Although the overall number of traffic accidents and injuries decreased overall, the number of fatal accidents spiked up almost 7 percent from the year before. When it comes to the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (a rate measured every year), that number increased more than 20 percent from 2019.

The NHTSA report contained other disturbing crash data, as well. In 45 percent of all fatal crashes, police cited one of the following types of negligent or reckless behavior:

  • Alcohol impairment (increased by 14 percent over 2019)

  • Failure to wear a seat belt (increased by 14 percent over 2019)

  • Speeding (increased by 17 percent over 2019)

Last year, fatal traffic accidents that happened at night increased by 12 percent. Daytime accidents increased by just 1.4 percent. Other increases included:

  • Fatal hit and run accidents increased by 26 percent

  • Fatal motorcycle accidents increased by 11 percent

  • Fatal bicycle accidents increased by 9 percent

  • Fatal pedestrian accidents increased by 4 percent

Who Are the Victims in Fatal Crashes?

The report also analyzed the ages and gender of fatal crash victims. In 2020, the number of drivers who were 65 years of age or older who were involved in fatal accidents decreased, but the number of younger drivers involved decreased, especially in the 25–34-year-old age group – increasing by more than 1,100 deaths from the year before.  

Another alarming increase was the number of males who were killed in traffic accidents in 2020 – by almost 9 percent. The number of females killed in accidents increased by just under 2 percent.

While these statistics are jarring, what is even more jarring is realizing that due to the pandemic, when most of the country was in lockdown, with people working and going to school from home and many businesses closed, the number of vehicles miles traveled decreased by 11 percent. The number of miles in 2019 was 3,264,772 miles and in 2020 it was 2,903,622. How many more fatalities would there have been if the country had not been locked down?

Contact a Medina County Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have been injured in a car accident – or lost a loved one in a crash – contact a New Braunfels car accident attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have against the party or parties responsible. Call The Bettersworth Law Firm at 830-606-0404 today to schedule a free consultation.




The sooner you call, the sooner we can build your case, secure evidence and get maximum compensation for your injuries.

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