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America’s Empty Roads: Fewer Deaths But a Blow to State Budgets

America’s Empty Roads: Fewer Deaths But a Blow to State Budgets
By Ryan Beene
April 15, 2020, 3:00 AM CDT

  • Insurers refund premiums amid decline in highway accidents
  • Loss of gas taxes, tolls blow hole in state road budgets

Motorists on a typical weekday log roughly 200,000 trips on North Carolina’s Triangle Expressway in the Raleigh-Durham region, many of them commuters headed to the state’s Research Triangle Park.

But on the first Monday in April, just 69,000 tolls were collected.

Similar scenes are playing out across the U.S. as Americans drive roughly half as much as they did before the coronavirus prompted broad stay-at-home directives to combat the spread. Plazas along the Pennsylvania Turnpike now sit mostly empty, while Google Maps show freeways around Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta usually choked with traffic now largely free of cars.

The impact goes beyond idle toll booths. Fewer drivers are getting into accidents, resulting in a drop in deaths as well as premium refunds by auto insurers. Gasoline demand and sales have collapsed, prompting regulators to approve the extended use of wintertime blends. Greenhouse gas emissions from cars, power plants and other sources in the U.S. are forecast to decline by a whopping 7.5% this year... FULL ARTICLE

1 comment (Add your own)

1. blog7 wrote:
When do you think quarantine will end? When will the world return to its normal life?

Tue, April 28, 2020 @ 5:39 AM

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