Roughly two years ago, extreme driving behaviors began to rise across the nation. Despite the reduced congestion associated with that time period, more fatal accidents happened.
Generally, extreme driving behaviors served as the cause.
Risky driving behaviors on the rise
AP News discusses the deadly rise in speeding that has yet to slow down. This is one of the major extreme driving behavior shifts. It has also resulted in a higher death toll in 2020 and 2021 than many of the previous years.
On top of that, a slightly reduced rate of seatbelt use coincided with these incidents. Higher rates of intoxicated driving via both drugs and alcohol occurred, too.
In many regions of the country, these extreme driving behaviors ended up manifesting in different ways. For example, New York saw a high rate of traffic fatalities related to speeding. In California, there was a spike in speeding tickets in excess of 100 miles per hour. One Maine driver even raced from New York to Los Angeles in a record-breaking 26 hours.
Despite a 13 percent decrease in traffic, these behaviors have likely contributed to the 7 percent rise in traffic fatalities seen between 2019 and 2020.
When drivers feel emboldened
Unfortunately, many drivers feel emboldened by roads that seem empty. The perception of reduced law enforcement presence also leads to this effect. On top of that, an increased confidence in the safety feature of cars causes some drivers to test their safety limits.
It creates a recipe for disaster, with the outcome being an even deadlier road system for drivers to navigate.