TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — There was much less visitors on the roads final yr, however that doesn’t imply it was safer to drive.
In line with AAA Mid-Atlantic, lethal crashes in Maryland have been up 12% final yr in comparison with 2019 and up 17% from 2018.
Greater than 560 individuals have been killed on the highway previously yr with fewer miles pushed, AAA Mid-Atlantic mentioned.
“It seems that many motorists, whereas there have been fewer of them on the highways, took the open roads and empty lanes as a license to drive at extreme speeds,” Ragina Ali, of AAA Mid-Atlantic, mentioned.
It’s not simply in Maryland. Preliminary estimates from the Nationwide Security Council present greater than 42,000 motorized vehicle deaths in 2020. That’s up 8% from the yr earlier than and marks a 13-year excessive.
Ali mentioned though visitors quantity dropped, dangerous conduct spiked.
“They noticed extra dashing, extra aggressive driving, extra reckless conduct behind the wheel,” she mentioned.
Baltimore Metropolis alone noticed a 68% lower in visitors, in comparison with a 14% dip in Annapolis.
Drivers mentioned as COVID restrictions proceed to be lifted, roads are solely going to get extra crowded.
“Little by little it received again to regular,” Randy Nelson mentioned.
“It’s choosing up a bit of bit,” William Brown mentioned. “I observed that. Heading downtown, it’s heavier than traditional.”
Along with the spike in demise charges, about 4.8 million individuals have been significantly harm in crashes final yr.
Officers are warning drivers to watch out, particularly as faculties begin to reopen and extra children are heading again to the buildings.