During the pandemic, we’ve seen a dramatic decrease in the number of cars on the road as working from home has become commonplace. In fact, according to several sources, working from home may be here to stay. It decreases company expenses and, some researchers say, employees are actually more productive.
However, while driving dramatically decreased in 2020, there is a rather interesting anomaly in this situation. The NHTSA recently published a report detailing statistics on how vehicle crash fatalities fared in 2020. One would think that if there were less cars on the road that crash fatalities – or any other vehicle related issues – would decrease. According to the NHTSA, that would be wrong.
According to the published findings, 38,680 people died in vehicle crashes during 2020, an increase over 2019 despite a 13.2 % decrease in mileage driven. Even with a decrease in driving due to the pandemic, vehicle related incidents and fatalities have increased.
Safety is everything. Sometimes it’s not just one thing that contributes to a fatality or accident, but rather a multitude of things. Perhaps with COVID, consumers are driving distracted or are not taking the time to maintain their vehicles.
I sincerely hope that this trend alters course and trends downwards. As consumers work from home, their vehicles may not be as top of mind as they should be. This is the perfect time for dealers to connect with these consumers and gain that service revenue while, perhaps, gaining a customer. Eventually, things will get back to normal and more vehicles will be on the road once again. And that could increase the dangers even more.