A Coronavirus silver lining : Less driving, fewer crashes


Motor vehicle crashes cost the US $242 billion a year, according to the most recent estimate.

 A study finds that California lockdown restrictions reduced crashes that kill or seriously injure people to 200 a day, down from 400 in the same period last year.

FOR ALL THE misery Covid-19 has wrought, the shelter-in-place orders imposed in the name of public health have yielded a few benefits, at least for driving. American motorists are putting half as many miles on their odometers as they usually do this time of year, according to Arity, a data analytics company. One result is reduced air pollution. Another is fewer crashes, saving lives and money. In California alone, those savings amount to some $40 million each day, well over $1 billion since the state went into lockdown mode in March.

That figure—presented in a new study by researchers at the UC Davis—is surprising only if you don’t consider the economic ripples of a crash. Counting medical expenses and productivity losses stemming from injuries and deaths, car crashes cost the US economy more than $75 billion in 2017. Throw in property damage, emergency responders, insurance costs, congestion, and the inevitable court cases, and it’s far more. In 2010, the most recent year for which the grand total is available, crashes cost the US $242 billion. California accounted for $20 billion of that sum.

Continue reading… “A Coronavirus silver lining : Less driving, fewer crashes”

Prius and Volt Set New Sales Records Thanks to High Gas Prices


Gas prices are a supreme motivator.

Drivers tend to convert to the fuel-efficiency religion once they get severely wounded in the wallet. It’s a sad fact that environmental concerns alone are often not enough… Of course, the best ways to save on gas costs are to walk, bike, and take transit (for an example of a city that has great sustainable transportation, check out Colombia’s Medellin). But if you’re going to drive, you should get the most fuel-efficient vehicle that meets your needs. Near the top of the list, the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius can be found, and thanks to relatively high gas prices in the U.S. lately, they’ve both set new sales records in March 2012.

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Gas Prices Widening Gap Between Wealthy and Everyone Else


The rich are back to pre-recession-style splurging.

A wider wedge is being driven between the wealthy and everybody else due to high gas prices.  The rich are back to pre-recession-style splurging: Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom customers are treating themselves to luxury items like $5,000 Hermes handbags and $700 Jimmy Choo shoes, and they’re paying full price.


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