The New York Times emails subscribers daily with news and commentary. Today the Times highlighted the fact that deaths from traffic accidents have risen dramatically in 2021:

The Times trots out several possible explanations, including, of course, “Rising inequality.” It notes that black teenagers are dying in automobile accidents at an elevated rate. Why might that be? One explanation, not offered by the Times, is that there has been a major increase in reckless driving.

I have seen that in my own experience, commuting to and from work. I see considerably more speeders, reckless lane changers, and so on than in past eras. I assume the reason is that people think there is little or no law enforcement. If hardly anyone is being arrested for aggravated assault, why not speed or drive under the influence?

Whatever the cause, traffic deaths are up sharply. This, and other sorts of accidental death as well as drug overdoses, need to be taken into account when anyone points to “excess death” statistics and attributes all of the excess to covid.

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