As the number of pedestrian fatalities dropped in New York City, motor vehicle deaths rose over the last year, a trend that cities are seeing nationwide.
Drivers, passengers and motorcyclists were all at greater risk. The New York Times reports that motorcyclist deaths, in particular, reached a thirty-year high.
Here is what people on the road need to know about this troubling statistic.
Why have fatalities increased?
While the exact causes of the increased traffic fatalities are difficult to pinpoint, many transportation experts attribute the rise to heightened recklessness. With many people working from home and staying in at night, the streets were significantly emptier, which encouraged speeding and other reckless driving behavior.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that greater alcohol and drug consumption may play a factor, as well.
An increase in the number of inexperienced motorcyclists likely accounts for the rise in motorcycle fatalities, 60% of which involved people without a valid motorcycle license.
How can drivers stay safe?
Despite the greater risk on the road, drivers can stay safe by driving within speed limits and following traffic laws. People should only drive vehicles they are legally licensed to operate, and inexperienced motorists and riders should take extra care. When drinking, people should arrange alternate transportation instead of getting behind a wheel of a car while intoxicated.
Even the most cautious people can find themselves involved in an auto collision. Drivers, motorcyclists and passengers who are victims of an accident can seek compensation for their injuries.