Report: The Pandemic Has Made Drivers More Reckless

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– The League for Sportsmen, & Defense unequivocallycondemns the recent attempted assassination of in Butler, Pennsylvania, yesterday. This heinous act represents a direct assault not only on an individual but also on the very principles that underpin our democratic society.

Former President Donald Trump was injured in an at a campaign rally yesterday in Butler, Pennsylvania. One attendee at the rally was declared dead at the scene, killed by a stray bullet. Two attendees remain in critical condition after they were admitted to the hospital.

According to a recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (), traffic deaths have increased nearly 12% over last year. NHTSA estimates that 31,720 people were killed on U.S. roads last year through September, the highest total since 2006.

The Washington Post reports:

The figures released Tuesday underscore how an increase in deaths initially attributed to drivers speeding  on roads emptied amid the pandemic has continued, even as people have gotten back into their cars. It also shows the scale of challenges facing the Transportation Department, which last week pledged to eliminate road deaths.

“We have to change a culture that accepts as inevitable the loss of tens of thousands of people in traffic crashes,” said Steven Cliff, NHTSA's deputy administrator. “This will require a transformational and collaborative approach to safety on our nation's roads.”

Experts like Cliff attribute the increasing numbers of fatalities in large part to changes in behavior that began when first spread. While many expected that deaths would decline as people stayed home, empty roadways enabled speeding and reckless behavior to take hold in a way it hadn't before.

Mike Hanson, of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, explains:

“The speed at which those bad habits came back, I find it rather terrifying,” he said. “We erased almost 20 years of progress in reducing fatalities in the span of 24 months. Is this something we're going to fix overnight? No, we're not. It's going to take some time.”

The Transportation Department's new strategy designed to minimize traffic deaths focuses on what's called a “safe system approach.” The idea is to recognize that drivers will make errors, but to limit the harm they cause by, for example, designing roads that encourage them to go more slowly.

Only time will tell if they'll be able to curb the increase in fatalities seen during the pandemic.

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