In the history of the U.S., economic downturns and less traffic generally have been associated with fewer fatalities. Not so in 2020 — even though one would think people would drive cautiously to avoid crashing and landing in an emergency room risking exposure to COVID-19. In fact, the crash fatality rate was up 23 percent during the first nine months, compared to 2019. This spike has revived conversations about fast-tracking autonomous vehicles (AVs). However, putting nascent, unproven AVs on public roadways will further complicate roadway conditions and lead to even more danger for all road users.