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Study: Coronavirus Has Reduced Fatal Crashes More Than Any Other Event In Recent History

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The coronavirus pandemic has led to a substantial drop in traffic fatalities across the United States, a study discovered.

The spread of coronavirus — which has infected over half a million people in the U.S. and killed more than 30,000 — has sparked a dramatic downturn in traffic fatalities, according to a study by AutoinsuranceEZ. The study found that the pandemic has stemmed more fatal crashes than any other historical event in the United States.

“COVID-19 is our number 1 event that has caused a reduction in fatal crashes. We can assume that if total crashes are down, fatal crashes have fallen as well,” the study’s authors wrote. “It has likely caused a reduction in fatal crashes across America, from big cities such as NYC to smaller cities such as Glendale, Arizona, where more pedestrians are killed each year than in crashes from drunk drivers.”

The study, among many details, found that Seattle saw a drop of 100% in fatal accidents, Massachusetts reported a 75% drop in crashes, accidents dropped 51% in Los Angeles and crashes in New York City fell 33% near the beginning of March.

Traffic Accident. Shutterstock

An injured woman in a plastic stretcher after a car accident, covered by thermal blanket. Shutterstock

Major events in the country can have a large impact on transportation. AutoinsuranceEZ reviewed major events of the past 15 years, and compared how traffic fatalities before and after these events changed. (RELATED: ‘We’re Going To Need Those Beds’: Baltimore Mayor Urges Residents To Stop Shooting Each Other As Coronavirus Spreads)

What were the study’s key findings? The coronavirus pandemic has reduced fatal traffic accidents more than Hurricane Irene, Hurricane Harvey, the 2016 presidential election and other major events.

All of these events sparked a drop in transportation — and thus traffic accidents, but none of them compared to the effect COVID-19 has had on the U.S. transportation sector. Much of this is due to sweeping lockdown orders given by governors and mayors of big cities.

“Our analysis shows that one positive outcome of the pandemic is the largest reduction in fatal crashes in history,” AutoinsuranceEZ stated in a Friday press release.

The cities with the biggest drop in traffic include Detroit, San Francisco and Seattle, respectively. States with the biggest decline in traffic include Michigan, Ohio and California.

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