Traffic Collisions Down During Pandemic, But Deaths Per Mile Driven Are Up

Data released separately by the CHP and the National Safety Council show fewer crashes but more deaths per mile. From March 19th to April 30th there was a 75% decrease in traffic collisions in California compared to a year earlier. There was also an 88% reduction in traffic fatalities and a 62% decrease in the number of people injured. Truck-involved collisions were down 60%. Arrests for driving under the influence dropped by 42% in March and April, from 7,224 to 4,223. Though crashes were fewer, the danger was greater, as shown by a coast to coast study from the National Safety Council that the number of fatal crashes per 100 million miles driven rose an “alarming” 14% compared with march of 2019. The council says the number of fatalities per 100 million miles driven was 1.22 in march compared with 1.07 a year earlier.┬áBecause of the sharply reduced traffic on the roads, many drivers have seen it as an opportunity to put the pedal to the metal. From March 19th to April 30th, the CHP issued more than 2,700 citations for speeding in excess of 100 miles an hour, a 46% jump. The CHP notes that vehicles going that fast are much easier to spot on empty roads.

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