Emptier Roads Not Resulting in Increase in Safety, Data Says

The COVID-19 pandemic has rendered U.S. roadways emptier and more lethal, according to preliminary data from the National Safety Council.

NSC, which focuses on eliminating the leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths, released estimates indicating that motor vehicle fatality rates rose in May, despite quarantines. Preliminary data for May shows a 23.5% jump in the fatality rate per miles driven compared with figures from the previous year.

The group released the estimates July 21 during a webinar focused on roadway safety during the pandemic. The mileage death rate per 100 million vehicle miles driven was 1.47 in May, an increase from 1.19 recorded in May 2019. Even though the fatality rate jumped, the number of miles driven in May dropped 25.5% compared with levels from the previous year.