The COVID-19 pandemic seems to have brought out the worst in some drivers throughout Indiana and the rest of the nation. Disturbing behavior such as speeding, impaired driving and failure to wear seat belts continue to contribute to traffic fatalities.
According to preliminary reports, 824 people died in road collisions in Indiana in 2021. That represents a nearly 2% increase from the 809 fatalities in the previous year. The number of fatalities also represented the most in four years when Indiana reported 848 road deaths in 2017.
Deaths per 100 million miles
According to the website BestLife, Indiana ranked 35th among states in the number of road deaths per 100 million miles driven.
Indiana’s 0.98 road deaths per 100 million miles driven were below the national median of 1.08. Among neighboring states, Indiana fared better than Kentucky (1.48) and Ohio (1.01) but behind Michigan (0.96) and Illinois (0.94).
Avoid speeding and distractions
Here are some tips that just might save the lives of drivers and their passengers:
- Do not speed: For the past two decades, speeding has contributed to one-third of U.S. traffic fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- Use seat belts: The Indiana State Police reported the alarming fact that 40% of the people who died on state roads in 2021 did not wear seat belts.
- Avoid distractions: Distracted driving continues to contribute to fatalities throughout the country. Put away the phone. Do not text and drive.
- Beware of reckless and distracted drivers: Always focus on defensive driving. Keep your distance from troublesome drivers and do not engage with them lest it turns into a road rage situation.
Following safe driving habits may prevent you and others from becoming alarming statistics.
Safe driving saves lives
Numbers tell the truth, and the figures regarding Indiana’s traffic fatalities remain disturbing. By focusing on safe and defensive driving, you deserve applause from other drivers and your passengers.