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Car Crashes Deadlier During Lockdowns

Coronavirus lockdowns led to big reduction in crashes -- but they are more serious.
July 8, 2020

A Reuters analysis shows that coronavirus lockdowns led to huge reductions in traffic and fewer car crashes this spring, but as drivers sped up on quieter roads, the collisions became deadlier in several cities. In New York City, the ratio of fatal crashes to all collisions rose 167 percent in April from a year ago. The increase was 292 percent in Chicago and 65 percent in Boston. Across the ocean, in Madrid, Spain, the rate of fatal collisions was 470 percent higher.

The National Safety Council found that even as traffic plummeted across the United States, fatality rates per mile driven in April rose 37 percent, compared to the same month in 2019. The group added that the lockdowns and reduced road congestion had created an “apparent open season on reckless driving.” Similar increases in speeding have been reported in Australia, Belgium, and Denmark, according to reports compiled by the European Transport Safety Council.

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