Recent data collected from the California Highway Patrol and analysts for NBC in Los Angeles indicate that the number of traffic crashes in Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange, Ventura, and San Bernardino Counties dropped an estimated 73% over the past month.
Officials are citing the Coronavirus and shelter in place orders being the root cause of the significant drop in accidents since Governor Newsom issued a statewide “shelter-in-place” order on March 20th.
According to the data, the total number of fatal, injury, and property damage crashes in March of 2019 was 21,270. For March 2020, that total dropped to 5,827.
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Because most area residents have been ordered to stay at home in order to flatten the curve of the novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic, there have been fewer drivers on the road. Last year at this time, there were a total of 50 motor vehicle accidents involving one or more fatalities in Los Angeles County. This year, that number has dropped to just two.
In San Bernardino County, no traffic fatalities were reported for the past month.
Michael Manville, an associate professor of urban planning at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, told NBCLA that since the amount of travel in the area has dropped so significantly, this may be, “…as close to zero as maybe we’ve ever seen in the modern era.”
Data collected from a report issued by the Road Ecology Center at UC Davis indicates that in addition to the marked drop in crashes, traffic on some roadways has been reduced by nearly 60%.