Throughout 2020 in Nevada and across the United States, the health crisis forced people to change the way they live and work. Whether they needed to work from home, help their children with remote learning, cancel vacations and leisure activities and adapt in other ways, it was a difficult year. To make matters worse, the roads were more treacherous. Auto accidents are always a looming threat, but the societal circumstances made it even riskier. People who have suffered personal injury or lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident should understand the statistics as it could be important when they determine how to move forward.
2020 road dangers coming into focus
Recently released statistics show just how much more dangerous the roads were. The National Safety Council (NSC) has released its initial numbers for fatal auto accidents in 2020. It found that despite the reduction in overall traffic because of the pandemic, fatalities were substantially higher than they had been in the previous year. While the statistics are still being assessed, the NSC estimates that at least 42,060 people were killed in a collision. This is problematic enough on its own, but when factoring in that people drove less and calculating the number of miles driven, the spike was as much as 24% higher.
Agencies and researchers are still navigating the data and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will release its own study relatively soon. Its initial assessment through September 2020 shows similar issues as the NSC study. The cause of this uptick is not yet concrete, but anecdotal evidence and known catalysts suggest that drivers were speeding, driving distracted and driving under the influence due to fewer vehicles on the road and less scrutiny from law enforcement. The number of drivers who surpassed 80 mph was specifically troubling.
Dealing with the life-changing aftermath of an auto accident
Injuries and loss of life are common in auto accidents. For Nevadans or visitors to the state who were negatively impacted by a crash, the future can be daunting. The cost of treatment can be immense, people could be confronted with the inability to function as they did before, and they may need long-term care to recover. If there was a fatality, people who suffered that unfathomable loss in a collision will never be the same personally, emotionally or financially. For guidance in how to move forward, having full protection is essential. Insurance companies are focused on their own interests and gathering evidence is key to maximize compensation. Consulting with experienced professionals in how to proceed after auto accidents is a wise first step.