Motor vehicle deaths spiked during 2020 amid the pandemic

by Jenny Mount · Mar 4th, 2021 3:00 pm

Last Updated Mar 6th, 2021 at 3:47 pm

The number of Americans who lost their lives due to vehicle accidents drastically increased from 2019 to 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a survey conducted by the National Safety Council, there were 42,060 motor vehicle deaths in 2020. That is the largest number of traffic accident deaths since 2007.

The preliminary data shows that even though the number of miles driven declined by 13%, the rate of death on the roads increased 24% marking the highest year-over-year jump in almost 100 years.

"It is tragic that in the U.S., we took cars off the roads and didn't reap any safety benefits," said president and CEO of the National Safety Council Lorraine M. Martin. "These data expose our lack of an effective roadway safety culture. It is past time to address roadway safety holistically and effectively, and NSC stands ready to assist all stakeholders, including the federal government."

From 2019 to 2020, eight states experienced more than a 15% increase in the estimated number of deaths. Meanwhile, only nine states saw a drop in motor vehicle fatalities.


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