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Old 09-16-2020, 06:07 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Highway Death Rate Surged 20% During First Half of 2020

Highway Death Rate Surged 20% During First Half of 2020

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Traffic fatalities were expected to be down in 2020 due to the pandemic, but the total number of deaths is up one and death rate has jumped significantly.

The U.S. highway death rate surged by 20% during the first half of this year, even as Americans sharply reduced travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

If the preliminary federal data holds, it would mark one of the sharpest rises in motor vehicle deaths on a miles-driven basis that the U.S. has seen in decades. And, if June is any indication, the situation could get substantially worse as more Americans return to their stores, offices and factories or simply start driving again, warned the National Safety Council.

ďBecause of COVID-19 and (state-mandated) shelter-in-place orders earlier this year, the country should have reaped a safety benefit from less traffic,Ē said Lorraine Martin, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, or NSC. ďInstead, our soaring rate of deaths speaks to our need to improve safety on our roads. Clearly, we must work harder as a society to reverse this trend, especially since the pandemic is not nearly over.Ē

(Labor Day traffic fatalities expected to approach 400 people.)

There are two ways in which safety regulators and experts track highway deaths: the total number of people killed in various crashes, and the number of those killed for every 100 million miles driven.

The NSC notes that the death rate per 100 million miles is up despite overall traffic levels are down 17 percent.

The raw number came to 36,120 highway fatalities in 2019, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the third year in a row that fatalities fell, even as travel increased. That reversed the surge seen during the middle of the past decade.

The fatality rate, meanwhile, dropped to 1.10 per 100 million miles driven from 1.13 per 100 million in 2018.

But the improvements seen in recent years vanished this year. Based on preliminary figures, the U.S. experienced a 20% jump in the fatality rate, with total highway deaths increasing by 1%, the NSC noted, even though American motorists clocked 17% fewer miles during the first half of the year.

What is particularly worrisome, the non-profit safety group noted, is that the upward trend continued in June, the point when most U.S. states began lifting quarantines and many Americans took to the road again. Travel was still down 17% for the month but the death rate per 100 million miles soared by a
ďstaggeringĒ 34.4%, the NSC noted, adding that June was the first month since the pandemic began that ďboth the number of fatalities and the death rate increased in a single month.Ē

(Driver fatality rates rise for third consecutive month.)

The question is why? With the numbers still not formally confirmed by NHTSA, the NSC is taking a cautious stance when it comes to pointing fingers, said Maureen Vogel, though the spokesperson suggested that with fewer cars on the road ďsome drivers saw that as an invitation to drive recklessly.Ē

The lighter traffic volumes due to shelter-in-place orders have given some drivers a little too much courage.

That has been echoed by other authorities across the country in recent months, including the Governors Highway Safety Association, which has pointed to data showing significant increases in average highway speeds in much of the country. The California Highway Patrol has handed out substantially more tickets since the pandemic began to motorists exceeding 100 mph.

Distracted driving and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol have also been cited by safety experts as possible contributors to this yearís surge in highway fatalities.

In a new report, the NSC noted that the overall increase is far from uniform on a state-by-state basis, Vermont seeing a 91% increase in the total number of highway deaths from January through June, while Wyoming had a 49% decline.

The seven states that saw the biggest dip in total deaths:

Wyoming (-49%, 39 fewer deaths)
Alaska (-31%, 11 fewer deaths)
Hawaii (-27%, 16 fewer deaths)
Iowa (-24%, 35 fewer deaths)
North Dakota (-20%, 9 fewer deaths)
Oregon (-19%, 41 fewer deaths)
Idaho (-16%, 15 fewer deaths)
The seven states with the biggest increases:

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)
(High-speed crashes rise as drivers go faster due to lighter traffic due stay-at-home orders.)

https://www.thedetroitbureau.com/202...-half-of-2020/
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Old 09-16-2020, 12:08 PM   #2
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Going by the way people drive here during this whole thing, on the highway, I am not surprised. It's getting to where I don't even want to get on the highway, and I'm a well trained driver (not a race car driver however Johnny) and rider. The S I'm seeing is the worst driving I have witnessed in my life. Fatalities just about every night on the news.
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Old 09-16-2020, 12:16 PM   #3
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People are driving way faster for sure, and paying less attention to boot.
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Old 09-16-2020, 01:27 PM   #4
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Yup, I don't get it. Where is everyone going in such a rush? There's like half the traffic as usual so no-one is holding you up so you should be getting wherever your going sooner.......I mean I'm not a slow driver and I get passed by probably 70% pf the traffic.
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Old 09-16-2020, 01:44 PM   #5
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Does the data correct or otherwise normalize for the change in miles driven per state though due to changing population flows? How about per capita drinking and driving arrests?

It seems like some of the ones with the reduction in death rate are tourist driven places that had less tourists (Hawaii). Then you figure connecticut probably has a bunch of new yorkers who are spending time away from the city.

Other states it could be depressed unemployed people drinking and driving.
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Old 09-16-2020, 01:51 PM   #6
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Wow, that article is referring to the NSC which is clearly pushing the speed agenda (bring back 55mph!!!!! ).

One key component to this article is:
Quote:
not formally confirmed by NHTSA
So all of these figures are estimates, not reality.

The other key component:
Quote:
There are two ways in which safety regulators and experts track highway deaths: the total number of people killed in various crashes, and the number of those killed for every 100 million miles driven.
The author touches on this in the article, then completely abandons it and goes for the percentages based off of 100 million miles (estimated). While there are less cars on the road and faster (normal) speeds it doesn't seem the death rate is really changing, there are just less miles, most likely offset by not having commuters traveling at incredibly low speeds M-F, to offset the percentage. Then throwing out statistics like "Vermont saw a 91% increase", but it was from 10 deaths.

-- quick internet research and 4 of the Vermont deaths happened within 18 hours: stop sign runner, 2 dead in a single car crash, alcohol, no seatbelts . . . but speed is a factor in each of them. Gotta love that political rhetoric

I'm sick of sexy headlines.
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Old 09-16-2020, 02:10 PM   #7
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Traffic speeds in Seattle have picked up to normal levels for other parts of the country, its great. You can actually drive above the speed limit in the fast lane now... I hope people are learning some new habits, but I doubt it. The left-lane parkers are likely the same people hunkered down in their basement due to covid.
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Old 09-16-2020, 02:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legacy_etu View Post
Yup, I don't get it. Where is everyone going in such a rush? There's like half the traffic as usual so no-one is holding you up so you should be getting wherever your going sooner.......I mean I'm not a slow driver and I get passed by probably 70% pf the traffic.
its probably because there is less traffic that people are going faster.
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Old 09-16-2020, 02:18 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Pre View Post
Going by the way people drive here during this whole thing, on the highway, I am not surprised. It's getting to where I don't even want to get on the highway, and I'm a well trained driver (not a race car driver however Johnny) and rider. The S I'm seeing is the worst driving I have witnessed in my life. Fatalities just about every night on the news.
No kidding. Back when everyone was staying home, I'd be doing 85 mph on the highways here and getting my doors blown off by people that had to be doing at least 100 mph. The cops didn't seem to care, I saw little traffic enforcement. They likely didn't want to pull anyone over for fear of COVID.

I do think part of it is degradation in driving skills from not having to do it as much. It's a bit of a perishable skill and even I've noticed some decline just from not having done it. Things that were instinctual now require a bit more thought. Muscle memory has also gone away a bit.
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Old 09-16-2020, 02:26 PM   #10
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Being a Connecticut resident, property/houses within 2hrs of NYC are being bought up by new yorkers attempting to get out of the city, but that is a recent development.

I've noticed the increased speeds people are hauling around at on the highways (95mph+ instead of 80mph+) but beyond that, in my very limited driving, there are days where I am almost hit in my f***ing bright red car 3-4 times due to people not paying attention and blowing through stop signs/lights etc.; my horn and middle finger, not to mention rear tires, are getting prematurely worn during covid because people somehow got worse at driving.

I'd also like to see how they are getting their numbers; actual increases in deaths or if it's per million miles driven as the article eludes to, which in that case considering everyone cut their mileage hard, it's likely a decrease in deaths annually.
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Old 09-16-2020, 04:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legacy_etu View Post
Yup, I don't get it. Where is everyone going in such a rush? There's like half the traffic as usual so no-one is holding you up so you should be getting wherever your going sooner.......I mean I'm not a slow driver and I get passed by probably 70% pf the traffic.
1) People don't drive based on their speed, they drive based on their Perception of speed. I.E. if nobody is in front of them, they tend to just keep accelerating until they catch someone or feel they go to fast.

2) Perception of speed with modern cars is way, way higher than it used to be. It just plain old doesn't feel like you are going fast, so ya, people go faster now.
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Old 09-16-2020, 09:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Sid03SVT View Post
during covid people somehow got worse at driving.
I have noticed this, much more than usual. I think people lost their motor skills or ability to perform the function of driving as a whole from refraining from driving because of covid.
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Old 09-17-2020, 03:02 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by FaastLegacy View Post

I do think part of it is degradation in driving skills from not having to do it as much. It's a bit of a perishable skill and even I've noticed some decline just from not having done it. Things that were instinctual now require a bit more thought. Muscle memory has also gone away a bit.
Not me. Itís like riding a bicycle, you never forget. Iíve taken years off from driving fast cars. I get back in one, couple of corners, or using the fast lane, itís all there. Same for motorcycle riding. Comes back almost instantly.

All Iím seeing is a bunch of novices try to drive fast and they are hilariously bad at it and incredibly dangerous. You can tell when someone doesnít know how to drive. How many times have you got a bad feeling about someone in front of you. ďThis jack wagon Mfíer is about cut me offĒ or swerve in front of you, or not give a F, and cut into the fast lane where you are doing 80 mph, and they are doing 65 mph. Itís not ESP. You pick up on peopleís poor driving skills and habits. I get on the highway now, and people are putting the worst passing moves on that I have ever seen in my life. Real sloppy, cutting multiple lanes at a time. People doing 90, 95, 100 mph and itís easily discernible they have no skills. Pick your favorite sport or hobby. You know when someoneís an idiot and endangering themselves. Like the idiot at the gym, racking up 225 on a bench and it looks strange. Next thing you know plates are falling onto the floor and the guy is about to choke himself out with the bar. Itís bad out there.

Sounds strange but Iím only comfortable on the highway on my bikes right now. Power to weight. They trained my ass in MSF over 20 years ago to be going 5-10 mph faster than the flow of traffic in the fast lane. I just canít do that in my DD or truck with people zipping by at 100. On my bike I sure AF can. I can squirt, swap lanes and move my ass quick. Even then weekends only as usual, early mornings or when itís hot AF outside. Weekday highway driving is completely out for me.

These people are zombies and out of their flippin minds. Oh my conveniences are slowed, social functions nixed, oh the horror. Iím gonna have to go home tonight, make dinner, and watch Netflix. I want to kill myself!!!!!
Fíin soft ass people. God help us if a World War happened. Last time we went to war, we went into the factories and worked, banded together. All anyone is doing now is crying about this and that, acting like complete ass holes at the grocery store or any brick and mortar, narcissism on full display, and driving like d bags. I had to pick up wine for this lady Iím dating as I was cooking dinner. Go the big massive likka/beer store. This clown is in there with a paper towel, using it to push buttons on the credit card scanner. Iím like dude, have you not heard of rubbing alcohol or sanitizer? He was acting like he was picking a lock in a bank robbery and didnít want to leave a print. Then he grabs his bag and whatever else with his hands. Acting like anthrax was on the keypad
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Old 09-17-2020, 04:24 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by White out View Post
I have noticed this, much more than usual. I think people lost their motor skills or ability to perform the function of driving as a whole from refraining from driving because of covid.
That's what I'm thinking as well, and it's not just the US. We were in lockdown for over 3 months and people don't seem to know how to drive, how to make a simple roundabout or to even park (more than before).
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Old 09-17-2020, 06:19 AM   #15
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I have to agree on the speed. Iíve seen more people going 100+ a day than I ever remember.
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Old 09-17-2020, 07:24 AM   #16
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On the plus side, the record for the Cannonball Run was bested 4-5 times this year so far.

--kC
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Old 09-17-2020, 07:26 AM   #17
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I just got passed by two Qtips in a 20 year old Caravan with a donut on the back welcome to the Lehigh Valley. Oh I was doing 85 soooo
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Old 09-17-2020, 09:14 AM   #18
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With the way the economy has been pissing people off, it is understandable people are frustrated. Not that I accept these preventable fatalities.

When I see someone driving erratically, including tailgaters, I just give them the right of way and stay as far away as I can.
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Old 09-17-2020, 12:02 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by oichan View Post
When I see someone driving erratically, including tailgaters, I just give them the right of way and stay as far away as I can.
I always just pick a speed and drive that on highways/freeways/surface streets, letting everyone else get the speeding tickets. Still have a clean record with zero tickets in 24 years of driving... But I still hoon on twisty backroads at will
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Old 09-18-2020, 02:35 PM   #20
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Musta Beeeze da Covid 19
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Old 09-18-2020, 03:38 PM   #21
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Not me. Itís like riding a bicycle, you never forget. Iíve taken years off from driving fast cars. I get back in one, couple of corners, or using the fast lane, itís all there. Same for motorcycle riding. Comes back almost instantly.

All Iím seeing is a bunch of novices try to drive fast and they are hilariously bad at it and incredibly dangerous. You can tell when someone doesnít know how to drive. How many times have you got a bad feeling about someone in front of you. ďThis jack wagon Mfíer is about cut me offĒ or swerve in front of you, or not give a F, and cut into the fast lane where you are doing 80 mph, and they are doing 65 mph. Itís not ESP. You pick up on peopleís poor driving skills and habits. I get on the highway now, and people are putting the worst passing moves on that I have ever seen in my life. Real sloppy, cutting multiple lanes at a time. People doing 90, 95, 100 mph and itís easily discernible they have no skills. Pick your favorite sport or hobby. You know when someoneís an idiot and endangering themselves. Like the idiot at the gym, racking up 225 on a bench and it looks strange. Next thing you know plates are falling onto the floor and the guy is about to choke himself out with the bar. Itís bad out there.

Sounds strange but Iím only comfortable on the highway on my bikes right now. Power to weight. They trained my ass in MSF over 20 years ago to be going 5-10 mph faster than the flow of traffic in the fast lane. I just canít do that in my DD or truck with people zipping by at 100. On my bike I sure AF can. I can squirt, swap lanes and move my ass quick. Even then weekends only as usual, early mornings or when itís hot AF outside. Weekday highway driving is completely out for me.

These people are zombies and out of their flippin minds. Oh my conveniences are slowed, social functions nixed, oh the horror. Iím gonna have to go home tonight, make dinner, and watch Netflix. I want to kill myself!!!!!
Fíin soft ass people. God help us if a World War happened. Last time we went to war, we went into the factories and worked, banded together. All anyone is doing now is crying about this and that, acting like complete ass holes at the grocery store or any brick and mortar, narcissism on full display, and driving like d bags. I had to pick up wine for this lady Iím dating as I was cooking dinner. Go the big massive likka/beer store. This clown is in there with a paper towel, using it to push buttons on the credit card scanner. Iím like dude, have you not heard of rubbing alcohol or sanitizer? He was acting like he was picking a lock in a bank robbery and didnít want to leave a print. Then he grabs his bag and whatever else with his hands. Acting like anthrax was on the keypad
That's right, I forgot, this is NASIOC - we're all F1 caliber drivers here.
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