UNITED STATES – According to a news report posted on Ohsonline.com, the pandemic outbreak has led to lighter traffic in some areas; however, roadways have actually become more dangerous. A fourteen percent rise in traffic accident deaths occurred in March of this year, although the number of cars on the road dropped eight percent. The number of miles traveled declined 8.6 percent when compared with the same period in 2019.
The rise in traffic deaths was not universal but appeared in spikes in certain parts of the country. For instance, there was a sixteen percent rise in fatalities caused by traffic crashes in the State of Arkansas. Connecticut saw a shocking 42 percent increase, and Louisiana’s death toll rose 22 percent. California, Illinois, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas all also experienced increases in fatal crashes in early 2020 as compared to early 2019.
Other states saw the opposite trend. In Hawaii, traffic deaths dropped 32 percent, in Idaho there was a 28 percent decline, and in Oregon, deaths dropped 24 percent. Arizona, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, and South Carolina all also had fewer deaths in the first months of 2020 as compared to 2019.
One likely reason that the fewer cars did not lead to fewer deaths is that drivers took to the roads at higher speeds, and used the light traffic to drive recklessly. Officials in some states explained that some drivers appeared to be thrilled to get to hit the gas pedal on the empty roads and that higher than normal speeds have created safety risks in many parts of the country. Speed camera indicated a rise of sixteen percent in the number of drivers traveling 50 percent faster than relevant speed limits on American roads. Such issues have not been noted in other countries.
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