Fewer cars on the road might give some people in California a false sense of safety. After all, there are few things quite as stressful as traveling on a crowded interstate, surrounded by other vehicles and big trucks. But the problem on the roads today does not come from how many drivers there are. Instead, it is mostly about speeding.
In March 2020, Americans drove 8.6% fewer miles than they did just a year before. Despite driving less, the number of fatalities per driven miles skyrocketed 14%. This comes out to 1.22 deaths for every 100 million miles, compared with only 1.07 in March 2019. So while 2020 might have seen on average fewer overall fatalities across the country, the problem comes down to whether that drop is proportional to the miles driven — which it is not.
But just because the country has seen an average of fewer roadway fatalities does not mean that all states are fortunate to experience the same. California is one of many states that saw a sharp uptick in deadly accidents. Over the first three months of 2020, there were 8% more deadly crashes than during the same period of time the year prior.
Drivers have to exercise caution and restraint when behind the wheel, even if there are not that many other cars around. When someone decides to ignore his or her responsibilities and then causes a deadly speeding accident, there is no way to undo that loss of life. However, some families find that successfully pursuing a wrongful death suit on behalf of a loved one can help achieve a sense of justice.