The Great Recession Reduced Traffic Related Deaths

The Great Recession Reduced Traffic Related Deaths
Photo: Brookings Institute

Photo: Brookings Institute

Riverside, CA

The Great Recession brought with it a list of catastrophic woes for Americans. Millions of citizens lost their jobs; the unemployment rate skyrocketed; an unprecedented number of families lost their homes; and economic growth stalled before going into freefall—it was the worst of times and many are still struggling to regain and/or attain economic stability. There was however, a bright spot that shown through those dark years. 

A new study to be published in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty by a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute revealed that for every, one percentage point increase in the unemployment rate during the Great Recession there was a 14 percent reduction in traffic fatalities—the equivalent of approximately 5,000 fewer deaths per year. 

Researchers of the report are hopeful this revelation can be used to inform policy solutions to traffic deaths.

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