Black ExperienceCoronavirusCovid-19National

Traffic Deaths of Blacks Spike During Pandemic, Federal Data Shows

Black Americans had a disproportionate number of traffic deaths in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic ravaged the nation, according to a study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

A report this month from the agency estimated that 38,680 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2020, the largest projected number of deaths since 2007, despite a 13.2% decrease in miles traveled from the prior year, CNN reported.

When broken down along racial lines, Blacks had the largest increase in casualties among the races occurred with 23%. By comparison, white deaths increased 4%, Native American fatalities increased 11% and Asian and Pacific Islander deaths fell 29%.

The data is likely a reflection of which races — namely African Americans — didn’t have the option of working remotely and could not afford to stay home during the pandemic, CNN reported.

NTHSA data shows that traffic deaths of Blacks had already been increasing in recent years, jumping 16% from 2005 to 2019, compared to a 27.8% decrease for whites during the same time period, CNN reported.

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