Deadly Car Accidents on the Rise


In the years leading up to the Coronavirus Pandemic, deaths from car crashes in the United States were declining.  This was due, at least in part, to safety engineering in cars including better safety crash ratings, pre-collision warning safety engineering and blind-spot monitoring.  Most people were also regularly wearing their seat belts.

This led to fewer fatal car accidents in the years leading up to the 2020 Pandemic.

Fatal Car Accidents Increase with the Pandemic

Traffic fatalities began to increase in 2020 even though people drove less in 2020 due to the Pandemic.

In 2021 traffic deaths from car accidents were at an all time high.  In the first quarter of 2022, traffic accidents were up again by approximately 7 percent.

According to research from the University of North Carolina Highway Research Center, the recent increase in traffic-related deaths can be attributed to:

  • Riskier driving behavior
  • Fewer people wearing seat belts
  • Speeding
  • Impaired driving

All of these factors fall under the general category of reckless driving behavior.  What is the reckless driving behavior that caused an increase in traffic deaths beginning in 2020?

wisconsin Car Accident

Reckless Driving Behavior

As mentioned above, reckless driving behavior increased beginning in 2020 with the Pandemic.  This resulted in more fatal car accidents than in the years leading up to the Pandemic.  Reckless driving behavior during the Pandemic includes the following:

  • More speeding
  • Drivers running red lights, sometimes intentionally
  • Aggressive lane changes
  • Reading and sending text messages and other uses of the cell phone while driving
  • More people not wearing their seat belts with the Pandemic
  • Driving after consuming alcohol or marijuana
  • Drivers constantly checking cell phone while driving with some drivers even watching videos on their cell phone while driving

With the Pandemic there was less law enforcement on the road.  This led some drivers to believe they could get away with bad driving behavior.  Studies also show that with less cars on the roadways some drivers saw this an invitation to speed.

While many officials believe that the worst of the Pandemic is over, the increased reckless driving behavior that came with the Pandemic is still with us.  Some refer to this as the “hangover effect” from the Pandemic.

Leading Causes of Fatal Car Accidents

Leading causes of fatal car accidents in Wisconsin and throughout the nation include the following:

  • Drunk driving
  • Lack of seat belt use
  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Drowsy driving

Roadways in Wisconsin Where the Greatest Number of Fatal Car Accidents Occur

At Mingo & Yankala we commissioned a study to determine what the 9 deadliest stretches of roadway in Wisconsin are. We invite you to check out WISN’s coverage on our Deadly Roads Study and view the 9 deadliest stretches of roadway in Wisconsin.  We hope that you and your loved ones will either avoid these roadways or exercise increased caution when driving on these roadways.

If you have been injured because of someone else’s reckless driving, contact our award-winning Wisconsin car accident team at 414-273-7400 or by using our Contact Form.  You will find us easy to talk to and all information you provide remains strictly confidential.  We will let you know whether we believe you have a case and of course you never pay us anything until we win a recovery for you.