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#1 2020-03-02 11:19:15

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
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Coronavirus vs. traffic deaths

So far, the risk of dying from coronavirus in the U.S. pales to the risk of getting killed by a car.

Number of deaths from coronavirus per day, since Feb. 29 (first fatality): 2 (6 deaths in 3 days)

Number of deaths from traffic collisions per day:  93


Coronavirus might indeed turn into an epidemic that kills hundreds per day, but we're certainly not there yet.

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#2 2020-03-29 19:23:40

dougmc
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Re: Coronavirus vs. traffic deaths

Looks like COVID-19 is killing more people in the US than cars are now.  That said, given how much it's reduced driving (I wonder what the percentage is?), I wonder how many lives are being saved due to that?

November 7th, 2000 was the last day that nobody died on Texas roads -- the average lately has been ten per day.  It's a long shot, but maybe COVID-19 will be what allows us to end this streak?  (Kind of a morbid thing to think about ...)

Also, while car traffic is way down, bicycle traffic seems to be up.  Previously, the city of Austin was saying that around 2% of trips were done by bicycle ... I wonder what the current figure is?

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#3 2020-04-01 06:35:15

MichaelBluejay
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Re: Coronavirus vs. traffic deaths

I just came here to post the same thing, not knowing that you'd already posted.  As of 3/30/20, 99.6 COVID-19 deaths per day.  I also wondered how much traffic deaths are going down due to reduced driving.  Incidentally, the reduction in pollution from the world economy scaling back has been visible from space for quite some time now.  Is this nature taking care of itself?

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#4 2020-04-05 03:07:49

dougmc
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Re: Coronavirus vs. traffic deaths

In New York State, COVID-19 is now the #1 killer, even beating things like heart disease and cancer.

In fact, as far as I know ... it's beating everything else combined.

The rest of the country isn't quite so bad, but ...

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#5 2020-04-14 10:08:02

RedFalcon
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Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 212

Re: Coronavirus vs. traffic deaths

I just got off a video call with my doctor. The original appointment was scheduled for a month ago, but because of the pandemic it was delayed, and then turned into a tele- appointment.  It was all just for a simple prescription refill.

When we got done talking meds, I told my doctor that I think these video appointments are the way to go, whenever possible, even after the pandemic.  He completely agreed and told me that lots of doctors are pushing for the rules to be changed permanently to allow these calls. It was interesting, because one of his reasons was to keep people off the roads.

Let's hope we can use some of the tactics from surviving the pandemic to reduce driving unnecessarily later.

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#6 2020-04-17 14:56:59

Jack
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Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 282

Re: Coronavirus vs. traffic deaths

dougmc wrote:

Looks like COVID-19 is killing more people in the US than cars are now.  That said, given how much it's reduced driving (I wonder what the percentage is?), I wonder how many lives are being saved due to that?

November 7th, 2000 was the last day that nobody died on Texas roads -- the average lately has been ten per day.  It's a long shot, but maybe COVID-19 will be what allows us to end this streak?  (Kind of a morbid thing to think about ...)

Also, while car traffic is way down, bicycle traffic seems to be up.  Previously, the city of Austin was saying that around 2% of trips were done by bicycle ... I wonder what the current figure is?

Today's Statesman includes an op-ed by a former state senator who claims that you are more likely to be killed in a car accident than by the novel coronavirus.  That seems odd to me since last year in the US nearly 39,000 were killed in car crashes and as of today this year (not yet 4/12ths through the year) more than 33,000 were killed by the virus in the US.  Are my figures wrong?


[update--a month and 3 days later, the COVID-19 death toll in the US is at 92,000.]

Last edited by Jack (2020-05-20 09:15:03)

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#7 2020-04-17 16:37:37

MichaelBluejay
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Re: Coronavirus vs. traffic deaths

It would be helpful if you'd linked to the op-ed so we could see exactly what was said.

I don't know the number of people killed by autos last year since NHSTA has published only through 2018, but your figure certainly jibes with previous years.

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#8 2020-04-18 00:58:22

Jack
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Re: Coronavirus vs. traffic deaths

MichaelBluejay wrote:

It would be helpful if you'd linked to the op-ed so we could see exactly what was said.

I don't know the number of people killed by autos last year since NHSTA has published only through 2018, but your figure certainly jibes with previous years.

Well, it wasn’t like I was reading it online . . . Easy enough to find
https://www.statesman.com/opinion/20200 … y-in-ruins

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#9 2020-04-18 13:20:09

MichaelBluejay
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Re: Coronavirus vs. traffic deaths

It was not easy to find.  I wasted five minutes trying to find it.  You didn't even identify what "former state senator" you were talking about, that made it even harder.  Statesman home page doesn't have "Op-ed" or "Opinion" listed anywhere on its home page or in its menus.  Clicking the "Opinion" tag on any op-ed I'm able to find, the listing doesn't bother to mention the author.  The title of the op-ed you were talking about ("The governor is accountable for a Texas economy in ruins") gives no clue that it would contain the "driving is more dangerous" argument.

In the absence of a link, you could have at least quoted the statement, and the author.

Finally, a *Republican* from *Texas* says something and you have to wonder whether it was accurate?

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#10 2020-04-18 22:11:20

MichaelBluejay
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Re: Coronavirus vs. traffic deaths

I just wondered if he was talking just about Texas?  Even if so, he's still wrong.  For just Texas, there are about 275 traffic deaths per month in normal times, and since the first COVID-19 death in TX was about a month ago (March 16), that would be about 275 road deaths during COVID-19 times.  That's still fewer than the 469 Texas deaths from COVID-19 during the same period.

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#11 2020-04-19 19:59:27

MichaelBluejay
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Re: Coronavirus vs. traffic deaths

The 4/17/20 Chronicle reports that:

* Despite the lockdown, traffic deaths in Austin are *up* vs. last year.  (26 so far, vs. 18 at this point last year)
* Austin traffic has been cut in half.  In my part of town, it seems like much more than that.

https://www.austinchronicle.com/news/20 … headlines/

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#12 2020-04-30 04:30:27

MichaelBluejay
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Re: Coronavirus vs. traffic deaths

U.S. COVID-19 deaths in about one month have now passed the number of U.S. deaths in the Vietnam War, fought primarily over seven years.

The comic This Modern World recently compared the carnage from auto deaths to that from COVID-19.

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#13 2020-04-30 15:08:52

Jack
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Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 282

Re: Coronavirus vs. traffic deaths

The AAS has yet to challenge the writer’s crazy assertion—about 19,000 US deaths from COVID-19 since it was published.  Sorry to see the death of responsible journalism

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#14 2020-04-30 15:20:07

Jack
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Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 282

Re: Coronavirus vs. traffic deaths

MichaelBluejay wrote:

It was not easy to find.

Regrets, as I was saying.  I meant it was easy enough for me to find once asked.  I read the thing off a newsprint sheet of paper.  I know. I know.  The posting didn’t lead me to think of digging the thing out of the recycling bin to provide a quotation or look up a link for you.  The former state senator is only one of many trying to minimize the real dangers for whatever goal.

As of today (May 8), the COVID-19 deaths in the US this year are *double* the auto accident deaths of 2019 (now over 76,000)

Last edited by Jack (2020-05-08 16:13:03)

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#15 2020-05-01 01:29:31

MichaelBluejay
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Re: Coronavirus vs. traffic deaths

Congestion has gone down but crashes have gone *up*.  Suspected cause is speeding because highways are less congested.

[Correction: Crash volume has gone down, but serious injuries have gone up.  i.e., Of those who crash, there are more likely to be serious injuries, probably because of increased speed.]

https://cbsaustin.com/news/local/fewer- … -city-says

In other news Georgia suspended road tests for new drivers (and seemingly, they don't have to take the road test when the pandemic is over), and some outlets like VICE are cheering on that decision, saying that "road tests are useless".

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#16 2020-05-01 10:13:10

MichaelBluejay
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Re: Coronavirus vs. traffic deaths

My wife pointed out that one factor in the increase in speeding could be decreased enforcement, and a decrease in patrols in general.

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#17 2020-05-01 16:52:38

Jack
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Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 282

Re: Coronavirus vs. traffic deaths

MichaelBluejay wrote:

Congestion has gone down but crashes have gone *up*.  Suspected cause is speeding because highways are less congested.

https://cbsaustin.com/news/local/fewer- … -city-says

In other news Georgia suspended road tests for new drivers (and seemingly, they don't have to take the road test when the pandemic is over), and some outlets like VICE are cheering on that decision, saying that "road tests are useless".

Doesn't that CBS piece say that crashes have gone *down* by 20% though crashes *with injury* have gone up by 20% 
See also  https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker … -shut-down

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#18 2020-05-01 21:21:49

MichaelBluejay
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Re: Coronavirus vs. traffic deaths

Yes, Jack, you're absolutely right, I didn't read carefully enough, I apologize.  So, I think the conclusion is that of those who *do* crash, injuries are more likely, and that's being attributed to increased speed.

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#19 2020-05-01 23:33:44

Jack
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Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 282

Re: Coronavirus vs. traffic deaths

No apology necessary; i just wanted to be sure we were looking at the same stuff.  Also, note that my auto insurer is refunding a portion of my April and May share of my premium b/c of statewide reduced driving/claims.  So it must be safer out there, overall, if we’re confining the discussion to harm from car crashes.

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#20 2020-05-22 22:44:04

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
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Re: Coronavirus vs. traffic deaths

I was apologizing to everyone who was mislead by my post.

Anyway, the trend seems to be repeating across the country:  the number of crashes is down, but the death rate per crash is way up.  e.g.:  https://abc7.com/traffic-fatalities-cal … 9/6198603/

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#21 2020-09-15 12:40:57

MichaelBluejay
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Re: Coronavirus vs. traffic deaths

Austin traffic down 25% this year, while deaths are UP 15%.

https://www.kvue.com/article/traffic/au … 39e3a26ef6

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