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Tuesday, 21 April 2020 17:49

CA Saving $40 Million a Day Thanks to Reduced Road Traffic Due to Coronavirus

Written by Evan Symon, California Globe


UC Davis study has found that since stay-at-home orders have been put into effect, California has been saving around $40 million a day due to reduced traffic and reduced crashes.

According to the study, traffic has gone down on highways by as much as 55% compared to last year.


The study also found total crashes had been reduced by nearly two-thirds. Between March 21 and April 11, there were 1,128 collisions in 2019, compared to 450 in 2020.


The combined total of property damage, healthcare costs, insurance figures, emergency services and other resulting figures amounted to $40 million a day being saved, or, as of April 20, more than $1 billion so far.


“The savings was about $40 million a day,” said Fraser Schilling, UC Davis Road Ecology Center co-director, in a Los Angeles Times interview. “That’s about $15 billion over a one-year period, which is almost the size of the state portion of California’s transportation budget for a year.


“Suddenly you have much fewer cars. So it’s much safer to be a pedestrian or cyclist these days.”


California hasn’t been the only beneficiary of reduced traffic. Oil prices have remained below average, with prices hitting a record low into the negatives April 20, signaling cheaper gasoline prices and cheaper plane fuel as relief for the struggling airline business.


Insurance companies have also been reporting billions in profits since March, as fewer insurance claims due to fewer cars on the road have led to a larger influx of money.


“COVID-19, especially the economic effects, have been tough on a lot of people,” explained automotive analyst Andrew Mueller. “But we’ve been seeing all these silver linings. Like pollution in L.A. dropping to levels we haven’t seen in decades. But also now essential workers are getting a break at the pumps. Airlines are hemorrhaging less money due to lowered fuel costs. Less crashes are happening, and we’ve seen crash deaths go down dramatically.

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