Belmont County, OH (WTRF)- 2021 isn’t off to a good start when it comes to fatal-related crashes. So far this year has been the most deadly on the roads since 2006.
The Transportation Department says traffic deaths took off when the COVID-19 lockdown ended, and it’s been climbing ever since. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says there’s been more than 20,000 fatalities in the first 6 months. That’s up 18% from the year before.
So why is there a sudden spike? The State Highway Patrol in Belmont County says traffic has gone up since the lockdown, and in turn, speeding and distracted driving has also gone up.
But if you keep your eyes on the road, it could mean the difference between life and death.
“You need to realize when you’re speeding excessively, you’re creating problems for yourself and others. You gotta be cautious of what’s around you.”sergeant Brian McFarland, State Highway Patrol
Sergeant McFarland says he’s seeing more people speeding at a higher speed than ever before in Belmont County. He says drivers are going up to 100 miles per hour.
Sergeant McFarland is urging everyone to maintain their distance, go the speed limit, and be alert when you go behind the wheel.