Car Crash Deaths Surge
New York Post, David Meyer, August 31, 2020
Americans are dying in car crashes at higher rates this year, despite a dramatic drop in driving amid the pandemic — and it may be because motorists are putting the pedal to the metal with all that extra room on the road, according to a new analysis
Stats from 22 states and DC showed a 17 percent drop in vehicle miles traveled in the first six months of the year — but a mere 6 percent drop in traffic deaths.
“This increase in traffic fatality rates is tragic and unacceptable,” said Richard Retting of the transportation firm Sam Schwartz, which conducted the analysis.
The analysis attributed the increase in traffic deaths to higher travel speeds “given emptier roads.”
Overall, the states with available data saw 6,357 traffic deaths — 401 less than the previous year, but 791 more than would have occurred at the 2019 rate.
“We should have seen very large reductions in traffic deaths due to large reductions in VMT. Sadly, that did not happen,” Retting said.
The states surveyed include Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.