US sees spike in deadly crashes during COVID-19 lockdown, data shows

There's been a rise in deadly crashes in California while people have been staying home because of the novel coronavirus, according to new data.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- While the novel coronavirus pandemic has led to people staying at home and driving less, new data finds that emptier roads may actually be more dangerous.

Preliminary data from the National Safety Council shows the fatality rates per miles driven increased by 14% nationally in March compared to last year.

The council found the spike coincides with an 18.6% drop in miles driven in March compared to the same period from last year, and there was also an 8% decrease in total number of roadway deaths.

Through the first three months of this year, California is among several states that has seen a notable increase in the number of roadway deaths. The state has seen an 8% increase in the number of people killed on the roadways.

According to the council, Connecticut had a 42% increase in deaths.

CHP: 87% increase in tickets to drivers going more than 100 mph amid COVID-19 shutdown

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CHP is cracking down on speeding after seeing drivers going too fast on empty California freeways during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Disturbingly, we have open lanes of traffic and an apparent open season on reckless driving," a statement from the president and CEO of the National Safety Council Lorraine M. Martin said.

Last week, the Los Angeles Police Department advised bicycle and pedestrian traffic to be more aware of the roads, saying that officers have responded to a spike in traffic fatalities compared to this time last year.

The department attributed that to more people being on the road in recent weeks following the initial stay-at-home orders issued 10 weeks ago.
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