MA Coronavirus Car Crashes Plummet As Commuters Stay Home

MA Coronavirus Car Crashes Plummet As Commuters Stay Home Efforts to slow the spread of the new coronavirus have been disruptive, but they have had one welcome consequence: a steep decline in car crashes. Crashes have dropped by more than three-quarters, according to Massachusetts Department of Transportation data.

Over the last year, Massachusetts has seen nearly 2,500 car crashes per week, but since the coronavirus crisis began, that number has plummeted: from March 15 to March 21, the most recent full week of data, the state saw just 569 crashes.

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On March 23, the day before Gov. Charlie Baker’s stay-at-home advisory went into effect, just 62 crashes were reported. On that date last year, there had been 313, more than five times as many. Even March 16, one week earlier, had nearly twice as many crashes as March 23.

Crash totals fluctuate day to day, based on conditions such as weather and random chance. But before March 2020, daily crash numbers back to 2017 had never dropped below triple digits.

Drivers are avoiding the roads in an unprecedented way, as residents work from home, lose their jobs and avoid social outings and shopping as much as possible. According to a recent poll, more than half of the state’s workers are now working remotely, while over 15 percent have lost their jobs.

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Crash data since the stay-at-home advisory went into effect is not yet available.

On the chart below, mouse over individual points to see daily crash totals. MassDOT notes that crash data since 2017 remains subject to change and is “not to be considered up-to-date or complete.”

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