There was indeed a significant downturn in the number of auto accidents in the United States and Texas alike during 2020. This was not unexpected due to the travel restrictions were put in place. However, there was a striking increase in the number of fatalities on the highways. This could be due to a number of factors, as many people who were not able to work took advantage of their time off to accomplish other tasks and take road trip excursions. A look at some other factors could be revealing as well.
The raw statistics
There were some anomalies in the numbers compiled by the National Safety Council when 2020 was assessed in review regarding auto accidents. While the amount of miles driven was markedly less than in 2019, the number of fatalities rose by 8%. Additionally, when the percentage of miles driven was used to further evaluate the increase in accidents, the result was an even larger 24%.
The underlying tragedy
What these particular numbers suggest is that there is much work left to be done regarding making U.S. highways safer, including in Texas. The mishap numbers in the beginning of 2021 were actually up on a pro rated basis after the economy began to regenerate, and the increase in accidents should be a real concern for state Department of Transportation officials.
While the year still has a significant amount of time before new numbers can be officially evaluated, all Texans should be aware that the highways are still a dangerous place. Exercising extreme caution and employing defensive driving practices should be a focus for all motorists as well as avoiding any distracted driving potential while in transit. This year’s safety goal should be an overall reduction in highway mishaps and fatalities alike.