States report mixed results as lockdown reduces traffic

FILE – This March 15, 2020 file photo shows very light traffic is seen in the afternoon on the Route 118 Ronald Reagan Freeway in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

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UPDATED 12:17 PM PT — Saturday, May 2, 2020

According to new studies, statewide lockdowns may be helping lower the number of traffic fatalities. Many states, such as Illinois and Michigan, reported the number of fatal crashes dropped 57 percent and 67 percent respectively due to less traffic on the roads.

As a result, auto insurance companies have begun to offer drivers paybacks and have lowered premiums.

“As the coronavirus is keeping many Americans at home, we’re taking three actions,” explained Allstate CEO Tom Wilson. “First, because customers are driving less and having fewer accidents, we’ve created the Shelter-in-Place Payback to give our auto insurance customers more than $600 million back to help in these challenging times.”

California Highway Patrol officer Duane Graham stops a motorist who was suspected of speeding along Interstate 405 freeway, Thursday, April 23, 2020, in Westminster, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Some insurance companies have also offered to cover costs for those who are assisting on the front lines of the pandemic, including food delivery drivers.

However, a few other states, notably Louisiana and Minnesota, claimed drivers have been taking advantage of empty roads by driving dangerously. In these states, officials are seeing an increase in speeding and distracted driving, which has led to a rise in fatalities.

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