Reckless Driving: An Unexpected Pandemic Trend

After seeing decades of safety gains, experts say the pandemic has made US drivers more reckless, leading to a startling spike in traffic fatalities, accidents, and citations.

  • 2020 saw a 7.2% rise in US traffic fatalities, followed by an 18% jump in the first 6 months of this year. This is despite a 13% percent drop in miles driven during pandemic lockdowns.

  • The data show an outsized increase in accidents involving speeding, illegal substances, or failure to wear a seatbelt.

  • Experts say that behavior on the road is likely tied to widespread feelings of isolation and depression—lining up with other pandemic-era trends like rising drug overdoses, alcohol sales, and homicides.
     

The Los Angeles Times

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