Major Car Accident Trends
Despite being a year where fewer people were out on the roads on any given day, data from across the country shows that car accidents were on par with how the trends have been looking for the past several years. Studies show that since fewer people were on the roads overall, motorists were speeding and driving distracted at higher rates. Although there was some hope that there would be a significant decrease in traffic injuries and fatalities for 2020, that is unfortunately not the case.
In a December 2020 report released from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the overall traffic fatalities were up by 4.6% in the first nine months alone, with July through September seeing the highest fatality rates in the past 15 years. While the NHTSA has yet to post an updated report covering the full year, these national statistics could point to an alarming state-by-state trend.
How Kentucky Differs
In contrast to the national averages, Kentucky State Police reports from August show a significant decrease in the number of fatalities on the roads for the first eight months compared to that timeframe in 2019. This was about a 31.5 percent change. Other, more recent, reports also show that the overall fatal crash rate in 2020 was lower even compared to the first eight months in 2019.
How Did This Happen?
In response to the growing COVID-19 numbers, Governor Beshear was adamant in enforcing mask policies and restrictions on gatherings, as well as encouraging the public to work from home and limit going in public spaces. The official state website also released health and safety guidelines as they specifically pertained to different industries and offered ways to report businesses that did not comply with mandates. You can view these documents here.
What Does This Mean for 2021?
Since 2020 is an anomaly of a year, do not be surprised if these statistics increase again. As states lessen restrictions and people are able to travel more frequently, it likely will have an impact on the number of car accidents occurring overall. While the state has not yet released its predictions for traffic trends, we want to remind everyone to drive safely no matter how many cars are on the road.
Call Your Paducah Car Accident Attorneys
While we have a vested interest in protecting motorists from negligence on the road, Katz Law understands that some accidents are inevitable. If you or a loved one suffered an injury from a car accident on Kentucky roads this year, contact our office to schedule a consultation. You can call or fill out the contact form to get in touch with someone at our firm.