Slowing down to honor our heroes

It’s Memorial Day Weekend! Some of the most anticipated days on the American calendar. It marks the unofficial start of summer and a time to honor those who have died for our collective freedom and safety. 

May 23, 20202

As Americans take to their new normal and the open road for a visit to the beach or picnic in the park, there’s an astounding truth they should know, roads during COVID-19 are not nearly as safe. Law enforcement are policing less, construction workers are out more, and drivers are speeding faster than ever.As states open up this weekend, more drivers will hit the road. This is a dangerous recipe that will undoubtedly put even more strain on hospital ICUs, already at capacity. 

So that drivers who might otherwise take to the road or speed, think twice and drive more safely this weekend, the team at Ometry, a risk technology company working with commercial fleets and insurance carriers to score the safety of roads and drivers, has visualized more than 2.5 million crashes across 6 states, DC, and New York City (so far) on crashometry.com. The goal for this dashboard, is to keep people informed and track these worrisome, fatal trends across states with varying stay at home orders and open, unregulated roads. 

Take Connecticut for example, the last state to lift stay-at-home restrictions. In Connecticut, the percentage of crashes that were fatal in April 2020 was 867% higher than April last year. Even after a stay at home order went into effect on March 23rd and there were fewer drivers on the road, the share of crashes that were fatal increased 454% from March to April.

Local transportation researcher and Executive Director of the Connecticut Transportation Institute, Eric Jackson, confirmed to the Hartford Courant, “We’re roughly seeing 10,000 fewer crashes. But the number of fatalities have either increased or stayed the same.”

In the midst of the pandemic, it would seem driving, too, is a growing public health concern across the country. In a Forbes Magazine article, Executive Director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, Johnathan Atkins, stressed, “Emergency rooms in many areas of the country are at capacity, and the last thing they need is additional strain from traffic crash victims.”

The toll of the pandemic is grave enough. Avoidable deaths from reckless driving need not add to the country’s losses. This Memorial Day Weekend, as we honor our heroes, consider those on the front lines of the COVID-19 fight as well — the delivery truck drivers transporting packages and equipment, the hospital workers caring for the sick, the food service drivers delivering meals and groceries. These are the people who cannot avoid the roads, and the new, more severe risks of driving during COVID-19. 

This Memorial Day, keep the front lines safe, be smart, and slow down on the road. Do your part to drive with caution, so that everyone makes it back home safely. 

 

–Your colleagues at Ometry

 

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Visit crashometry.com, to view crash statistics from 2.5 million crashes collected from 6 states, DC, and New York City from January 2019 through April 2020. The Ometry team is working over the weekend to add more states including Florida and Vermont. If you have more data to share, please consider contacting our team at crash@ometry.com.