Those who traveled by car, truck or motorcycle in 2020 probably noticed that the volume was down, particularly in the spring. Now the Georgia Department of Transportation confirms this, saying the final tally was 40% down over 2019’s numbers. Unfortunately, fewer vehicles on the road did not translate into fewer road-related fatalities. In fact, initial reports indicate 1,615 deaths across the state, which is the highest since 1,641 in 2007. After consistent decreases since 2016, 2020 erased all those safety improvements.
Why did this happen?
There are several reasons given for the changes related to the pandemic:
- There are reports that some agencies and departments told officers not to make traffic stops, thus avoiding potential contact with a virus carrier.
- Increased use of drugs and alcohol due to stress brought on by all the challenges.
- Risk-averse and older drivers were less likely to leave their homes, leaving the reckless with open roads to engage in risky behavior.
- There are multiple state and national reports of an unprecedented increase in drivers exceeding 100 mph because of lax enforcement and less traffic.
A greater danger to others
Many assume that fast or reckless drivers injure or kill themselves in a crash. However, there are often victims in other vehicles as well as pedestrians or bicyclists on surface streets.
Victims can hold the reckless accountable
This reckless behavior can cause severe and life-changing injuries or even death to the victims who are merely going about their business. They may have been getting some exercise to relieve stress or running errands, but they ended up being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Fortunately, victims or their families can seek justice by filing a personal injury or wrongful death claims against these negligent drivers.