Reckless Drivers Made Up the Majority of Motorists During the Pandemic

March 7, 2022

Reckless Drivers Made Up the Majority of Motorists During the Pandemic

The roads were empty during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, unfortunately, that didn’t mean they were safe. 

A recent survey conducted by AAA determined that the youngest, most reckless drivers were involved in the highest rate of fatalities across the country. Here’s everything the study found: 

Traffic Fatalities Among Young Drivers Increased During the Pandemic

Despite less traffic on the road, traffic deaths increased by 20% during 2020 – at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic when much of the world was still shut down. During this period, traffic accidents involving speeding, impairment, aggressive driving, and non-seatbelt usage increased to their highest level in more than a decade. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2020 saw the highest number of traffic deaths since 2007 – totaling 38,680 people. 

Who Stayed Home? And Who Were the “Risky” Drivers? 

According to AAA researchers, drivers who would normally be categorized as “safe drivers,” were the ones who likely stayed home during the early months of the pandemic. According to the study, these drivers were usually middle-aged females who had a lower risk of engaging in reckless behaviors that would result in fatal accidents. 

On the opposite side, the survey found that the more frequent drivers tended to be male and more likely to engage in risky driving behaviors such as sudden lane changes, distracted driving, running red lights, and speeding. The survey also found that this group was more likely to drive after smoking marijuana or consuming alcohol. In fact, according to law enforcement in Washington, D.C., 20% of all fatal crashes in the area involved impaired driving, whereas 40% involved speeding. 

Other Reckless Behaviors Emerged During the Pandemic

Another uptick law enforcement in both Maryland and Northern Virginia reported involved illegal street racing at empty intersections and mall parking lots. When asked why more younger men drove, AAA senior researcher, Brian Tefft, said “…we don’t know the answer to that. We really need to do more research with other sources of data on that going forward.” 

Some researchers suggested that lifestyle factors such as their age and social status influenced their decision to take more risks on the road. What’s certain is that something needs to be done to curb these reckless driving habits. Jack Nelson, a director for Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research at AAA suggested that new steps need to be taken to promote road safety because reckless drivers may not necessarily be influenced by safety campaigns that urge them to make smart choices.  

However, the first step is to determine what prompted these drivers to get behind the wheel more often during the pandemic and take these risks in the first place. 

Contact A Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer To Discuss Your Car Accident Case In Pennsylvania

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a reckless or distracted driving car accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Goodrich & Geist, P.C. represent clients injured because of auto accidents in Pittsburgh and the surrounding Western PA counties. Call (412) 766-1455 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 3634 California Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15212. Home visits can be arranged in certain situations. 

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.