The number of people killed on the nation's highways rose 4.6% in the first nine months of 2020 despite coronavirus lockdowns that curtailed driving early in the year.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 28,190 people died in traffic crashes from January through September of last year -- up from nearly 27,000 in the same period of 2019.
Why are the roadways more dangerous with fewer people on them?
Authorities blame the increase on risky driving behavior that developed when there were few vehicles on the road early in the pandemic. Officials say the biggest culprit is speeding... along with lack of enforcement. The agency also says fewer people are wearing seat belts.
Michigan State Police begged drivers to slow down earlier this year as crashes increased, and the region has had numerous incidents where 'super speeders' were arrested for traveling in excess of 100 mph.
According the National Traffic Safety Administration, speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities for more than two decades.