Long-Term Impacts of COVID-19 on Road Safety

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of deaths from traffic crashes declined during the second quarter of 2022 after seven consecutive quarters of year-to-year increases.  While this is obviously encouraging news, fatality levels remain higher than pre-pandemic.

The risky driving patterns and behaviors, including speeding, failure to wear seatbelts and driving while impaired, that were exhibited during the early months of the pandemic continue. These behaviors coupled with the fact that traffic has increased almost to pre-pandemic levels with the return to work and school, reluctance of some to use public transport and carpools, and the large number of delivery vehicles on the roads have resulted in a continuing high number of injuries and fatalities. The issue is further compounded by the significant increase in pedestrians and bicyclists on the roads that began during the pandemic. It has become clearer than ever before that roads do not belong to vehicles alone but rather are shared spaces for cars, pedestrians, cyclists, scooters and other modes of transportation.


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