During the pandemic, fewer people were on the roads, yet the number of traffic deaths went up. For Black drivers, the death rate was much higher, citing the configuration of unsafe roads that can be found in communities of color. Ira Slavit, Partner, Levine & Slavit PLLC, says local, state and federal governments must work together to improve these roadways to reduce the number of fatalities among Black drivers.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of the 38,680 people who were killed in crashes last year, 7,494 were Black. Even though total overall deaths were up 7% last year, the number of traffic deaths among Blacks increased 23%. In addition, recent study from the Governors Highway Safety Association found that, from 2015 to 2019, Black drivers were twice as likely as White drivers to be killed in crashes.
A research article from BMC Public Health showed that more dangerous roads can be found in or around neighborhoods whose residents are predominantly people of color. U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has proposed $20 billion to the nation’s infrastructure plan to reduce crashes and traffic deaths, especially those among Black drivers.
“These statistics show the need to improve our roadways, especially in communities of color,” Mr. Slavit says. “Even during the pandemic, a disproportionate number of Black drivers were killed on our highways, and we need to fix this. All levels of government should come together to make the necessary infrastructural improvements to reduce the number of traffic deaths among Black drivers. If your loved one has been killed in a car crash as a result of unsafe roads, please contact a personal injury attorney immediately to protect your rights.”