Last year was an outlier because of risky driver behavior. Americans drove faster, didn’t wear seat belts and were more likely to be impaired by drugs or alcohol while behind the wheel. People also spent more time on motorcycles, sometimes without a license. All this was during a year spent taking extreme caution when it came to most other aspects of our lives — yet we chose to take more risk on the road. It could be because living under [COVID-19] restrictions made us want to break free, and that’s actually a common response to pandemic-sized risks.

Why We Sometimes Die When Trying to Avoid Risk