Improving economy leading to more road deaths?
One explanation is that not only are people driving more as the economy improves, but they’re also driving differently, said Michael Sivak, a professor at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
During the economic downturn, people tended to drive slower to conserve gas; there was less driving on rural roads, which are more risky than urban roads, and there were fewer freight shipments and thus fewer heavy trucks on the road, he said.
“Improvements in road safety that are based on economic factors are transient,” Sivak said. “We should not be surprised that a part of the recent gain in road safety is beginning to disappear.”