Preliminary data suggests an increase in road deaths in the US for the first six months of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019. The estimates point to an increase in fatalities linked to the use of vehicles of 20%.
This increase in road deaths comes in spite of a 17% drop in the total distance driven, a fall caused by the global pandemic.
The data comes from the National Safety Council (NSC). More research has to be carried out to reveal the cause of the jump in fatalities linked to the use of motor vehicles.
However, the NSC has previously pointed out that driver distraction is an increasing problem for US drivers. The use of smart phones at the wheel is a particular issue according to the NSC, and while hands-free equipment may be legal, research shows it is not safe to use.
A report from the NSC, Understanding Driver Distraction, reveals that “electronic devices are visually, manually and, most of all, cognitively distracting to drivers.” In addition, this report states, “…the safest option is to completely eliminate driver use of cell phones and interactive, in-vehicle infotainment systems.”