Traffic Fatalities Up Nationwide in 2020

The National Safety Council recently analyzed preliminary federal data and found that 38,370 people, a 7 percent increase, were killed in U.S. highway crashes from January through November 2020. This was despite fewer drivers on the road because of stay-at-home orders and telecommuting options.

That means the fatality rate per mile driven rose 24 percent last year, NHC said. Meanwhile, the number of miles driven nationwide decreased by 15 percent.

“We should be able to show a significant safety benefit from having less traffic,” the National Safety Council wrote in a January statement. “Instead, in the midst of the worst health crisis in more than a century, we are experiencing even deadlier roadways.”

Experts say speeding and aggressive, distracted and impaired driving are the primary causes for the increase: more drivers are Preliminary Motor Vehicle Death Estimates, 2017-2020making dangerous decisions that sometimes turn deadly.

While there’s no quick and easy answer to a complicated trend like this, research shows that visual cues like those provided by radar speed signs typically raise compliance with the posted speed limit by 30-60 percent, and are particularly effective at getting “super speeders” — those driving 20 mph or more over the posted speed limit — to slow down.

Charlie Robeson: Radarsign Co-founder & Director of Sales and Marketing