Data suggests pandemic resulted in surge of car crash deaths: analysis
(Screenshot via KPRC)

The coronavirus pandemic has not just resulted in increases in murders and overdoses, but also traffic fatalities.

"It was a tally that shocked the experts: 38,680 deaths on U.S. roadways last year, the most since 2007, even though pandemic precautions had dramatically reduced driving," the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday. "The latest evidence suggests that after decades of safety gains, the pandemic has made U.S. drivers more reckless — more likely to speed, drink or use drugs and leave their seat belts unbuckled."

The increase was one of many trends that have occurred since the pandemic was first detected in America in 2020.

"Experts say that this behavior on the road is likely a reflection of widespread feelings of isolation, loneliness and depression," the newspaper reported. "The rise in motor vehicle deaths lines up with other pandemic-era trends: Alcohol sales have soared, drug overdoses have set new records, and homicides have seen their biggest increase on record."

Radley Balko, a Washington Post columnist and author of the 2013 book Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces, suggested that the traffic fatality deaths should inform the debate over the surge in homicides.

"The unexpected pandemic era surge in murders has been accompanied by a similarly unexpected pandemic era surge in traffic fatalities. Which at least suggests both are pandemic related and not caused by, say, lenient prosecutors or Black Lives Matter," he wrote.