Authorities say that more pedestrians than ever are dying on America’s roadways, and they believe that the COVID-19 pandemic is behind this record spike. Officials say that the uptick in pedestrian deaths over the past two years can be tied directly to reckless driving—a behavior that has been on the rise since the pandemic’s beginning in 2020.
If you or someone you love has been injured by the negligence of someone else on the roadway, reach out to Allegiance Law and our San Francisco pedestrian accident attorneys now.
Experts are a bit miffed that a pandemic that left so many folks on lockdown or in quarantine could actually result in an increase in reckless driving—and resulting pedestrian deaths. After all, the pandemic kept many, many people off the road for long stretches of time. American road travel fell by 25%. Fewer people died, but when taken as a whole, based on miles traveled by those who were traveling, the death rate began to spike during spring 2020.
Some states were harder hit than others by this newfound recklessness on the roads, and pedestrians paid the price. For example, New Jersey reported its highest rate of pedestrian fatalities in three decades during the past two years. Texas reported a record-high number of pedestrian deaths, and Washington State had the most deaths seen in 15 years. Closer to home, on California’s roadways, the overall death rate, a measure of deaths per mile traveled, rose by 35% overall in 2020 as compared to 2019. California Highway Patrol (CHP) noted a 15% increase in traffic deaths from October 2020 through October 2021.
Experts say that the driving force behind this horrific climb in deaths among pedestrians (and motorists, too) is multi-pronged. One factor behind the rise in deaths includes an uptick in anxiety levels due to the pandemic. The uncertainty brought about by the pandemic and the virus’ spread, the ongoing controversy regarding masking vs. not masking, and whether to vax or not vax coupled with the rising unemployment rate and/or the need to work from home (and educate kids at home) all play a part in the collective anxiety of the population at large.
Anxiety-fueled Pandemic drinking became prevalent over the past couple of years—and with it, pandemic drinking and driving. Anxiety and/or boredom, people with too much time on their hands or who were struggling to deal with the pandemic turned to alcohol more often than usual over the past couple of years. Unfortunately, pedestrians and others on the roadway saw the brunt of the damage caused by the careless irresponsibility of inebriated drivers.
Another contributing factor that officials say helped fuel the increase in pedestrian and other roadway fatalities during the pandemic is the so-called “fraying” of social norms. Overall, people are behaving in ways that they did not behave prior to the beginning of the worldwide pandemic. And that includes making poor choices on America’s highways and byways—some of which lead to deadly outcomes.
Injured by the negligence of someone else while traveling by foot? Trust Allegiance Law and our San Francisco pedestrian accident attorney to help you recover damages for your injuries. You can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 415-404-6395.