‘Unprecedented’: U.S. car crash deaths surge during pandemic

Nation/world
A car crash is seen in this undated file photo. (Getty Images)

A car crash is seen in this undated file photo. (Getty Images)

It was a tally that shocked the experts: 38,680 deaths on U.S. roadways last year, the most since 2007 even though pandemic precautions had dramatically reduced driving.

“This was completely unprecedented,” said Ken Kolosh, a researcher at the nonprofit National Safety Council. “We didn’t know what was happening.”

One possibility was that stressed-out Americans were releasing their anxieties on the wide-open roads. He guessed that fatal accidents would decline in 2021 when traffic returned.

He was wrong. The latest evidence suggests that after decades of safety gains, the pandemic has made U.S. drivers more reckless — more likely to speed, drink or use drugs and leave their seatbelts unbuckled.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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