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Fatal vehicle crashes in Maryland spike

May 14th, 2022 by WCBC Radio

During the pandemic, fatal vehicle accidents in Maryland were higher than in previous years, reflecting a national trend. So far this year, the data shows that trend is continuing. The total number of crashes in the years leading up to the pandemic fluctuated between about 120,000 and 115,000 per year, according to data from the Maryland Highway Safety Office. In 2020, the state saw 95,507 total crashes, a decline of 17.6% from the previous year. Despite this, more people died in vehicle crashes than in previous years, resulting in a 7.1% increase in fatalities. This was in line with a nationwide trend in which states saw an overall 6.8% increase in fatalities, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “The tragic loss of life of people represented by these numbers confirms that we have a deadly crisis on our nation’s roads,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Dr. Steven Cliff. “While overall traffic crashes and people injured were down in 2020, fatal crashes and fatalities increased.”

In Maryland, fatal crashes were the only type of vehicle accidents to see an increase in 2020, jumping about 10%. Crashes that only resulted in injury declined by about 23% and property damage-only crashes dropped by about 15.7%.

A preliminary study published by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that increased crash fatalities may be due to increased risky behavior on the road during the pandemic.