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Americans' risk of dying in motor vehicle crash rose for third consecutive month amid coronavirus lockdowns: data

Americans' risk of dying in motor vehicle crash rose for third consecutive month amid coronavirus lockdowns: data
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Data analysis found Americans were at a higher risk of dying in a motor vehicle crash for the third consecutive month in May as much of the country remained in coronavirus lockdown, according to a National Safety Council (NSC) report.

The council determined that the rate of motor vehicle fatalities per miles driven jumped 23.5 percent compared to May 2019. 

The increased rate of deaths comes as the number of miles driven fell 25.5 percent in May compared to last year, with the total number of deaths decreasing 8 percent. 

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“At a moment when the country should be reaping a safety benefit from less traffic, the roads are riskier, threatening to reverse traffic safety gains made over the last few years,” the NSC said in a statement.

The death rate per 100 million miles driven reached 1.47 in May, compared to 1.19 in May of last year. 

As of May, several stay-at-home coronavirus orders remained in effect, making roads less crowded. Many jurisdictions also scaled back safety enforcement. 

As businesses continue to reopen now, NSC President and CEO Lorraine Martin recommends employers “reiterate the need for safe streets” and “safe workplace transportation,” as crashes remain the leading cause of workplace deaths.

“Employers can make a real difference in improving safety on our roadways, helping to protect their employees, as well as other road users,” Martin said in the release.

The NSC named six states with “notable increases” in the number of roadway deaths in the first five months of 2020: New Hampshire, Connecticut, Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas and North Carolina. 

The council also declared that nine states experienced drops in the number of deaths: Tennessee, Wyoming, Mississippi, Maryland, Michigan, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Florida.