On April 6, 2020, Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb extended our state’s stay-at-home order through Monday, April 20. Since the original order was issued on March 23, this will mark almost a full month that Hoosiers have been sheltering in place to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on our community. One unplanned benefit has been an overall reduction in traffic accidents and fatalities across our state. Here is some good news about the positive effects of social distancing across our state.
Quarantine Means Fewer Indiana Traffic Accidents
The Indianapolis Star analyzed data from the Indiana Department of Transportation to learn that the traffic in Indianapolis appeared to decrease an average of 39% from March 2 to March 30, 2020. The paper reported analyzing data from four interstates, four state roads, two US routes, and Binford Blvd to estimate the amount of traffic on the roads.
Statewide, the Star reported there were over 15,800 crashes in March of 2019. In March of 2020 the number dropped to just under 11,200, a reduction of around 4,600 accidents.
ABC RTV6 investigators shared information about traffic accidents in the city of Indianapolis during the quarantine. Their team discovered that Indianapolis Metro Police received 587 fewer crash reports in March 2020 than in March 2019, with 80 fewer injuries and 5 fewer fatalities.
Indiana Stay-At-Home Order Impact on Travel
Under the new stay-at-home order, effective until April 20, 2020, unless otherwise extended, Hoosiers are only supposed to travel for health or essential work reasons or to obtain necessities like groceries. Individuals who travel for nonessential reasons are in violation of the law. A knowing violation of an executive order issued pursuant to Indiana’s Emergency Disaster Law is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days incarceration and a fine of up to $1,000.
If you are in a car accident during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still important to talk with the authorities and seek all appropriate medical care. Drivers must continue to obey all the rules of the road even with reduced traffic on the highways and city streets. To anyone still out on the roads as an essential worker, we say thank you. We wish everyone health and wellness during this challenging time.