ANNAPOLIS, Md. — In 2020 Maryland reported 569 crash related deaths, a 6.4 percent increase from the previous year.
This despite less crashes overall and significantly less traffic due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Maryland Department of Transportation says pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities were also up, from 124 and 10 in 2019 to 134 and 14 in 2020, respectively.
The total number of crash fatalities in 2020 was the highest in Maryland since 2008.
Average vehicle traffic volumes in Maryland remains down at about 11 percent.
Initial police reports show increased speed, increased instances of impairment and lower seat belt use as the most common contributing factors in motor vehicle fatalities.
In August 2020, an annual report surveyed more than 48,500 vehicles which found less front seat occupants (89.9%) using a seat belt than years prior.