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COVID-19 restrictions fueled NYC’s nation-leading drop in car crashes

COVID-19 restrictions fueled NYC’s nation-leading drop in
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The New York region saw 38 percent fewer car crashes during pandemic-plagued 2020 compared to 2019, new data shows — a bigger drop than any other major metro area.

The data released by transportation firm INRIX on Tuesday show crash rates increased over the course of the year in New York and other major American cities as COVID-19 restrictions eased up and more people got behind the wheel.

From April to July, for example, New York saw a 41 percent drop in vehicle miles traveled compared to 2019 and a 57 percent drop in traffic collisions, according to the data, which was included in INRIX’s study of the nation’s “riskiest roads.”

In contrast, the August to October period saw a 21 percent year-over-year drop in miles driven in New York and a mere 12 percent drop in crashes.

Fewer crashes did not correspond with fewer traffic deaths, however. The federal government reported a 31 percent spike in fatal crashes in April, May and June.

New York City, meanwhile, is on track for its highest number of traffic deaths in six years, The Post previously reported.

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INRIX researchers attribute the increased fatality rate in part to drivers dangerously speeding on unusually-empty roads.

“Fewer cars on the road leads to reduced collisions, though the severity of these collisions tends to increase,” INRIX analyst Bob Pishue wrote in the report, which listed the FDR Drive, the Van Wyck Expressway and Brooklyn’s Tillary Street as New York City’s most crash-prone roads.

“Preliminary statistics reveal trends that would indicate an increase in the fatality rate, and therefore, severity” of crashes, Pishue said.

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