Car crashes in California drop 50% after shelter in place order – saving taxpayers $40m a day
- The UC Davis survey looked at data from when the stay at home order started
- Collisions fell from 1,128 in the same 22-day period in 2019 to 450 this year
- Costs saved included property damage, injury treatment and lost time working
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
The number of car crashes in California has decreased by over 50 per cent, saving tax payers $40million dollars a day.
The sharp decrease in accidents follows the state’s ‘shelter in place’ order to limit the coronavirus spread, according to a new survey.
The UC Davis research concluded the lack of crashes was a result of ‘statistically significant’ changes in traffic volume.
Traffic volume on certain highways was down by 55 percent when compared to data from last year, resulting in less accidents and a potential savings of $40 million each day to the public.
The number of car crashes in California have decreased by over 50 per cent, saving tax payers $40million dollars a day. Pictured: near empty roads in Los Angeles since the pandemic spread
‘The savings are about $40 million a day. That’s about $15 billion over a one-year period, which is almost the size of the state portion of California’s transportation budget for a year,’ Fraser Shilling, co-director of the Road Ecology Center at UC Davis, told the Los Angeles Times.
The survey used data from California Highway Patrol incident reports and the savings were calculated by using similar data from the Federal Highway Administration, according to the paper.
The costs included property damage, treatment of injuries, lost time at work, emergency responses, insurance claims and the equivalent cost of a life.
The survey used data from California Highway Patrol incident reports and the savings were calculated by using similar data from the Federal Highway Administration (file image)
The survey looked at data from when the stay at home order went into effect and compared it to a similar period in 2019.
Between March 21 – two days after the order – and April 11, the average daily number of all traffic collisions was about 450. Collisions were estimated to be 1,128 during the same time last year.
Fatal car crashes decreased from 496 to 237 over the same 22-day period, the survey said.
Shilling added that a major benefit of the stay-at-home order was a reduction in fatalities and injuries amid pedestrians and cyclists throughout the state.
‘Suddenly you have much fewer cars,’ he said. ‘So it’s much safer to be a pedestrian or cyclist these days.’