With more people working from home and limiting their trips, there has been a noticeable drop in traffic across North Carolina in recent months. It would seem that with fewer vehicles on the road, there would be fewer car accidents. Technically, this has proven to be the case. However, this doesn’t mean that roadways are necessarily safer.

Fatal crash rates are holding steady

According to a report in The News & Observer, highway traffic has dropped by 40% to 50% since March. However, through May 8th the state has seen 408 fatal vehicle crashes. That’s less than a 2% drop from last year. Moreover, 448 people have lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents during this time period. That’s only one fewer than the same time period last year.

It’s suspected that excessive speed may be playing a role in the steady rate of traffic fatalities. Open roads, free of gridlock, can be an irresistible temptation to lead foots. There’s also been an uptick in fatal truck crashes, which may be due to an increase in deliveries.

Practice safe driving habits

It’s clear that traffic-free roadways shouldn’t enable drivers to become complacent. The summer months also traditionally see a rise in accident rates. As people start to venture out more, the danger of car accidents can increase.

Remain vigilant and keep an eye on your speed. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles and allow faster drivers room to safely pass, when possible. You can help ensure a safer summer driving season for your fellow travelers.