Any time we get behind the wheel, there is a risk of getting into an accident. This risk, however, often increases depending on what road you are driving on. According to the most recent Fatality Analysis Reporting System data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), I-95 is the most dangerous highway in the United States.
The report, which analyzes which roads, counties, and states present the greatest risk for drivers based on the number of fatalities in auto collisions, found that total vehicle fatalities increased by an estimated 7.2 percent from 2019 to 2020. In addition, in 2020 alone, the United States experienced the highest rate of fatalities from auto accidents since 2007, with nearly 1.37 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.
Based on data from the Federal Highway Administration, drivers drove 430.2 billion miles less in 2020 compared to 2019, resulting in about a 13.2 percent decrease. This dramatic change is likely because of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing requirements, which kept many people at home. The decrease in total miles traveled by vehicles combined with an increase in auto accident fatalities resulted in the significant 7.2 percent increase in total vehicle fatalities that took place between 2019 and 2020.
Other causes for these significant increases in vehicular accidents include speeding, decreased use of seat belts, and increased use of alcohol and drugs. The NHTSA and U.S. Department of Transportation noted that increases in speeds upwards of 22 percent on average took place in 2020. Seat belt use also decreased during a large portion of 2020, while alcohol and drug use increased during the public health emergency. These were all potential contributing factors to increased fatality and accident rates across the country.
According to the NHTSA, six out of the ten most dangerous highways in 2019 ran north-south. Although I-95 runs along the eastern seaboard, it is considered to be one of the shorter highways on the NHTSA’s list. With major cities such as Dallas, Boston, New York City, Baltimore, Jacksonville, and Miami along the highway, however, it is unsurprising that I-95, despite being a short highway, is heavily utilized and leads the nation in the highest number of fatal accidents. In 2019, there were 284 fatalities associated with I-95, amounting to 14.88 fatalities per 100 miles.
When driving on dangerous roads, sometimes, there is only so much you can do. As a proactive driver, however, it can help to always be alert, to plan accordingly, and to take breaks as needed. By taking these additional steps, you will keep yourself, but also others you are sharing the road with, safe.
Do You Need a Maryland Car Accident Attorney?
If you or someone you know was recently involved in a Maryland car accident, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen today. Our lawyers have years of experience navigating all types of car accident and personal injury claims and will provide you with the support and advice you need to proceed with your legal issues with ease. To learn more about the personal injury recovery process, and to schedule a free consultation with one of our Maryland car accident lawyers, contact us at 800-654-1949.