A new report from Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety offers a look at disturbing highway safety trends reported in 2020. Part of the report addresses factors responsible for increasing traffic fatality rates, such as speeding and distracted driving. Let’s take a look at what the report has to say. 


Highway Safety Trends in 2020


When the COVID-19 pandemic began in February and March 2020, motorists’ rate on the road declined pretty significantly. Despite that, however, traffic fatality rates increased. What were the factors that led to the increase? The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety report suggests the following:


  • Impaired driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Decrease in seat belt usage


Speeding, in particular, became a more severe problem as traffic volume decreased on major roadways. Cities like Los Angeles and Atlanta have reported increases in speeding-related incidents and accidents due to fewer people on the road.


Recommendations for Improving Highway Safety


Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety have developed some recommendations to improve safety on our roadways in light of the increase in fatality rates. Their full report contains 16 recommendations with 390 recommended laws. Some of their suggestions include:


  • Improved child passenger safety laws
  • Implementation of a graduated driver’s license program (GDL)
  • Improved impaired driving and distracted driving initiatives
  • Widespread implementation of safety technologies inside vehicles, such as speed limiting devices and emergency braking technology on commercial trucks.


Safety advocates are calling traffic fatalities a public health matter with serious ramifications. Over the past two decades, more than 40 million people have been injured in auto accidents, and almost 600,000 people have died. Advocates say that the public deserves better than what lawmakers and automakers are currently doing to protect motorists, passengers, and everyone near the road.