- New data shows California's shelter-in-place order helped reduce traffic crashes by a massive percentage.
- Researchers at UC Davis found crashes fell by 50% since late March, helping save the state and drivers money.
- Traffic is also a major source of pollution and its slowdown has helped air quality reach levels not seen in decades.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
California's shelter-in-place order did more than just slow down the coronavirus' spread throughout the state.
Since March 19, when Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the shutdown rules, car crashes have fallen by 15,000 per month, according to , freeing up state resources and improving air quality to the best levels in years.
"We estimate that since the order went into effect, collisions and especially injury and fatality collisions have been reduced by half, from ~1,000 crashes and ~400 injury/fatal crashes per day to 500 and 200 per day, respectively," the researchers said.
That 50% reduction in crashes meant plenty of money saved for the government and drivers alike.
"The reduction in numbers of all collisions, injury, and fatal collision was equivalent to a $40 million/day savings in costs and about $1 billion in savings since the Governor's order went into effect," the researchers said in an update on April 15 that further confirmed their original findings from April 1. Those estimated costs include property damage, lost time, insurance claims, and the cost of emergency response.
The drastic reduction in traffic crashes was confirmed by lower automobile and motorcycle trauma injuries at hospitals, researchers said.
Around the world, air quality has greatly benefitted from not only a reduction in traffic volumes, but also a near standstill in global air traffic and a Los Angeles in particular, notorious for smog, had its
This is all completely unprecedented.
"There is no equivalent in our recent transportation history to such large changes in vehicle movement on our state and local roads," the researchers said. "The reduction in traffic collisions and injury/fatal accidents, in particular, was correlated with a similar % reduction in traffic volumes on a wide range of highways statewide."
2020欧洲杯夺冠热门As of Monday, the coronavirus had infected more than 760,000 Americans, according to Johns Hopkins University. California, in particular, surpassed 30,000 confirmed cases on Saturday, state officials said. A 7-day average of new cases in a possible sign that such drastic measures have proven successful.
"Please continue to be smart," Newsom at a Friday press conference. "Continue to do what you've done to get us to this point."
Do you have a personal experience with the coronavirus you'd like to share? Or a tip on how your town or community is handling the pandemic? Please email email@example.com and tell us your story.
Get the latest coronavirus business & economic impact analysis from Business Insider Intelligence on how COVID-19 is affecting industries.