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Rate of Traffic Deaths Per Mile Driven Up in 2020

January 13, 2021 | Category: Automobile Accidents | Share

Randall Spivey, Fort Myers accident lawyer at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., says our normally busy streets and highways were virtually empty the first six months of 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for this period showed the rate of traffic deaths per mile driven went up.

The National Safety Council (NSC) estimated there was a 20 percent increase in the death rate, which is the highest jump NSC has calculated for a six-month period since 1999.

NSC said, “In June – when many states ended three straight months of quarantine – the number of miles driven remained 13% lower than the previous year, but death rates and number of deaths both skyrocketed. The number of deaths was up 17% in June, while the rate of death per 100 million miles driven jumped a staggering 34.4% - again indicating that the lack of traffic did not make the roads safer. June marked the first month since the pandemic that both the number of fatalities and the death rate increased in a single month.” 

Preliminary Motor Vehicle Death Estimates - Spivey Law

By the end of the third quarter of 2020, Florida had 67 more deaths per mile driven than previous years, for an increase of 3 percent.

“Because of COVID-19 and states’ shelter-in-place orders earlier this year, the country should have reaped a safety benefit from less traffic,” said Lorraine M. Martin, President and CEO of NSC. “Instead, our soaring rate of deaths speaks to our need to improve safety on our roads. Clearly, we must work harder as a society to reverse this trend, especially since the pandemic is not nearly over.”

The NSC urges motorists to:

  • Obey speed limits, even if roads are clear and traffic is light.
  • Practice defensive driving. Buckle up, designate a sober driver or arrange alternative transportation, get plenty of sleep to avoid fatigue, and drive attentively, avoiding distractions.
  • Stay engaged with teen drivers’ habits and practice with them frequently – tips are available at org
  • Follow state and local directives and stay off the roads if officials have directed you to do so.
  • Be aware of increased pedestrian and bicycle traffic, particularly in urban areas. Conversely, pedestrians and bicyclists should be careful as streets become congested again.

“Should you or a loved one be injured in an accident, please contact the experienced Fort Myers accident lawyers at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. after seeking medical treatment. We represent people involved in numerous types of personal injury and wrongful death accidents throughout the state of Florida. All of our clients have unique personal injury cases. Our firm provides personal contact and communication along with aggressive representation. We were awarded the Martindale-Hubbell 2020 Client Champion Award in recognition of our client reviews demonstrating our ongoing commitment to delivering excellent client service. We are available 24/7, and there are no costs or attorney fees until we receive a monetary recovery for you,” said Fort Myers Accident Lawyer Randall Spivey.

Fort Myers Accident Lawyer Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one percent (1%) of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll-free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Visit for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County at 239.793.7748.

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