Preliminary estimates from the National Safety Council (NSC) indicate that, for the third month in a row, road users in the U.S. were at a higher risk of dying from a motor vehicle crash in May 2020.

As reported in Injury Facts, the fatality rate per miles driven in May – when most of the country was in shutdown from the COVID-19 pandemic – jumped 23.5 percent compared to the previous year, despite far less traffic on the roads. The number of miles driven in May dropped 25.5 percent compared to the previous year.

Overall, the mileage death rate per 100 million vehicle miles driven was 1.47 in May compared to 1.19 in 2019.

“As motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of workplace fatalities, transportation safety should be integral to every organization,” said Lorraine M. Martin, NSC president and CEO. “An employer’s reopening strategy is an opportunity to emphasize and reiterate the need for safe streets, as well as safe workplace transportation. Employers can make a real difference in improving safety on our roadways, helping to protect their employees, as well as other road users.”

Through the first five months of 2020, the following six states experienced notable increases in the number of roadway deaths: New Hampshire (63 percent), Connecticut (39 percent), Louisiana (15 percent), Missouri (12 percent), Arkansas (10 percent) and North Carolina (6 percent).

Nine states with notable decreases were: Tennessee (-58 percent), Wyoming (-52 percent), Mississippi (-21 percent), Maryland (-18 percent), Michigan (-13 percent), South Carolina (-13 percent), Pennsylvania (-13 percent), Arizona (-10 percent) and Florida (-4 percent).