Traffic Accidents Down by Half in California Because of Coronavirus

Traffic Accidents Down by Half in California Because of Coronavirus

April 18, 2020

Ellis Law Corporation


The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has led to drastic changes all across the globe, with many taking place closer to home. California announced statewide stay-at-home orders on March 20, 2020, in order to help slow the spread of the disease. While it’s still too early to tell if the order has had a large effect on the virus, studies are already showing the effect it’s had on traffic accidents.

Study Shows 50% Fewer Traffic Accidents After Stay-at-Home Orders

The Road Ecology Center at UC Davis conducted a recent study that suggests there’s been about a 50% reduction in traffic accidents since the stay-at-home order has been in place. While there is no way to prove that the order directly caused the reduction in accidents, it’s a pretty safe assumption to make.

The study reported that there has been a 60% dip in traffic volume when compared with the same time in previous years since the order was instated. Fraser Schilling, the co-director of the Road Ecology Center, said, “The reduction works out to about 15,000 fewer collisions per month and 6,000 fewer injury accidents per month.”

The Road Ecology Center conducted the study by compiling data from the California Highway Patrol incident reports listing the number of average daily collisions on state roads and highways from March 10-19 and March 21-30, 2019, as well as the same periods in 2020. The Center then compared the data from the two years to determine any changes that might be attributed to the coronavirus.

The study also compared the average daily number of accidents reported in the 10 days before the order was in place, 1,116, and the same average in the days after the order, 500. And finally, the study looked at the average daily number of accidents that led to injuries and fatalities in the 10 days before the stay-at-home order, 562, and the average after the order, 274.

This significant drop in accidents, injuries, and fatalities makes sense as people are simply driving less. Not going into work, meeting up with friends, taking kids to activities, and other common traveling habits of daily life pre-coronavirus means less driving. Less driving means fewer accidents.

Contact Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyers

As these numbers are heartening and may represent a silver-lining to the hardships the virus has wrought, it can still be said that even one traffic death is too many. Car accidents lead to serious emotional, physical, and financial trauma, leaving victims in pain and unable to pay for their medical care or even daily needs.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Even amidst the changes in our world due to the novel coronavirus, at Ellis Injury Law, we are committed to helping our clients receive maximum compensation so they can put their trauma and pain in the past. We have a long record of successful case outcomes and are happy to put our expertise to work helping you.

Call an accomplished Los Angeles car accident attorney at Ellis Injury Law today for a free initial consultation.