US Roads More Deadly During Coronavirus Pandemic, Study Finds

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UNITED STATES – A preliminary study conducted by the National Safety Council has found that the nation’s roads have become more deadly even as traffic has decreased due to the mass stay-at-home orders issued to combat the spread of the coronavirus, the Washington Post reported today.

The NSC’s data shows that in March, when the first orders began to clear out roadways, the fatality rate per mile driven increased by 14% over the same time period in 2019. Furthermore, the data—collected from all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia—confirm that New York politicians were right to worry that the emptier roads were leading to an increase in reckless and dangerous driving, as we reported on April 17.

“The risk on our roads has actually increased,” said Ken Kolosh, the NSC’s manager of statistics, as he explained the analysis. “Although an 8 percent decrease in deaths from one March to the next March is great news, that decrease should have been even greater if the risk on our roads had stayed the same. We should have seen closer to an 18 percent decrease in deaths.”

He arrived at the numbers by comparing the overall decrease in fatalities (8% from March 2019 to March 2020) to the decrease in the number of miles driven (18.6% in the same span). The death rate per 100 million miles driven was 1.22 in March 2020 relative to 1.07 the previous March.

DISCLAIMER: This article is presented as part of Finz & Finz, P.C.’s ongoing series to help our fellow New Yorkers stay safe during this unprecedented crisis. It is not offered as legal advice. However, if you have been injured in the ongoing pandemic, we may be able to help. Contact our compassionate New York coronavirus attorneys today for a free, no-obligation consultation.