In June, when many states ended three straight months of quarantine, the number of miles driven remained 13% lower than the previous year, but death rates and the number of deaths both skyrocketed. The number of deaths was up 17% in June, while the rate of death per 100 million miles driven jumped a staggering 34.4% – again indicating that the lack of traffic did not make the roads safer. June marked the first month since the pandemic that both the number of fatalities and the death rate increased in a single month.
National Safety Council: In June, when many states ended three straight months of quarantine – the number of miles driven remained 13% lower than the previous year, but death rates and the number of death rates skyrocketed. The number of deaths was up 17% in June, while the rate of death per 100 million miles driven jumped a staggering 34.4% – again indicating that the lack of traffic did not make the roads safer. June marked the first month since the pandemic that both the number of fatalities and the death rate increased in a single month.
Through the first six months of 2020, the following seven states experienced notable increases include:
- Vermont (+91%, 10 more deaths)
- Connecticut (+44%, 45 more deaths)
- District of Columbia (+42%, 5 more deaths)
- South Dakota (+34%, 11 more deaths)
- Rhode Island (+31%, 8 more deaths)
- Arkansas (+21%, 51 more deaths)
- Missouri (+18%, 68 more deaths)
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): At the height of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the total traffic volume decreased by more than 16% in the first six months of 2020. Because traffic volumes decreased more significantly than did the number of fatal crashes, the traffic fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles travelled is projected to increase to 1.25 in the first half of 2020, up from 1.06 in the same period in 2019.
NHTSA researchers compiled data from a wide variety of sources to produce a special report suggesting that during the height of the national public health emergency and associated lockdowns, driving patterns and behaviors changed significantly, and that drivers who remained on the roads engaged in more risky behavior, including speeding, failing to wear seat belts, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Reuters: 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, a Reuters analysis shows. In New York City, the ratio of fatal crashes to all collisions rose 167% in April from a year ago. The increase was 292% in Chicago and 65% in Boston. Even as traffic plummeted across the United States, roads became more lethal, with a 37% increase in fatality rates per miles driven in April, compared to the same month last year, the lockdowns and reduced road congestion had created an “apparent open season on reckless driving.”
National Institute of Health (NIH): During the lockdown starting in March, while there were fewer cars on the road, looking at Missouri for a six week period for example, there was a decrease in minor accidents but an increase in serious and fatal crashes.
WHAT WE FOUND
Bader TV has been monitoring the numbers and statistics and wanted to know what is being done to make the roads safe once again especially now when everyone has so much on their minds causing a higher degree of distracted drivers.
We sent a team of reporters across America to talk with the educators, safety facilitators, the researchers, government officials and took a close look at one auto manufacturer that has its foot on the gas to make its vehicles and the roads safer now and in the future.
WHAT IS IN THIS NEWS STORY
Bader TV visited with the founders of the Buckle It program based at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to learn more about how they work with parents to teach them how to safely and properly install child safety seats.
Then to the Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) in Michigan, where the intensity has risen a notch to conduct research that contributes to the enhancement of safety for all drivers, passengers and pedestrians on the roads, not just in relation to Toyota vehicles, but to advance safety in all vehicles.
We were invited to a teen driving safety road simulator session to witness how teen’s react to various situations they confront while the researchers are taking notes. We spoke with the Toyota’s head of Teen Safety Driving research for insight on what she sees happening on the roads.
In Arlington, Texas, Bader TV spoke with the Director of Transportation for North Central Texas Council of Governments to get his take on what is happening on the Texas highways and how this researcher will help make the roads safer as new designs and enhancements are being proposed.
In Plano Texas, Bader TV was invited inside the North Texas Toll Authority’s Command Center to witness the staff watching and recording a bank of camera feeds with the data being used to assess the road conditions and safety suggestions for the wave of additions raging from traffic flow patterns, on and off ramp access and speed.
At a stop at Toyota’s North American Headquarters in Plano, Michael Goss, the General Manager of Social Innovation to understand the many programs the automaker has in motion with safety and public care groups, including a driving program for seniors in partnership with AARP, that interact with the public to assist with transportation, refresher driving lessons, getting from here to there safely and conveniently stress free.
WHAT IS IN THIS NEWS FEED
This video news feed is free to use without any usage restrictions, fees or obligations for regularly scheduled news, business, lifestyle, automotive, and community TV programs and its directly related websites only covering Bader TV’s look into what is being done to make the roads safe during these unsettling times.
The feed offers:
– Pre Produced and complete news packages with reporter Hilary Lane – with a suggested anchor lead in and tag
– All of the elements in boxes for news editors to review and download exactly what they want and need to tell this important and timely story – this includes:
– Soundbites with: – Gloria del Castillo and Dr. Rebeccah Brown, “Buckle It” Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
– Michael Rey, North Texas Toll Authority
– Michael Morris, Director of Transportation for North Central Texas Council of Governments
– Michael Goss, General Manager, TMNA Social Innovation
– Jennifer Pelky, Principal Engineer, Toyota Vehicle Performance
Development Division – Research & Development Center
– Tina Sayer, Principal Engineer, Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center, Ann Arbor, MI
– Teen drivers after completing a session in the driving simulator