Fewer Crashes On Delaware Roads During Shutdown, Impairment Incidents Increase

Since March 12, 2020, Delaware has been under the State of Emergency, and citizens are urged to remain at home and off the roadways. With fewer individuals traveling on Delaware roadways, the number of crashes and fatalities would be anticipated to have a significant decline. Although the number of crashes handled in February and March of 2020 is fewer than those months in 2019, the percentage of crashes involving impairment has increased. There has also been an increase this year in each category of fatal crashes except bicycle-related fatalities.

Since January 1, 2020, Delaware has had 23 fatal crashes resulting in 24 deaths. Of those 23 fatal crashes, two were motorcycle-related, and eight were pedestrian-related.

The Delaware State Police released the following safety tips to help keep the citizens and visitors to Delaware safe when traveling on our roadways during this unprecedented time. Whether you are a motorist, pedestrian, cyclist, or motorcyclist, avoid traveling while under the influence of any substance which alters your judgment negatively. Also, give your full time and attention to the roadway. If you are operating a vehicle or motorcycle, obey the posted speed limits.

“Speed is the biggest determinant of serious injury and fatalities, especially for those who are most vulnerable like pedestrians and bicyclists as well as first responders, tow truck drivers, and construction and utility workers often on the shoulders of our roads,” said Ken Grant, Public and Government Affairs Manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Motorist reaction times – which is about 1 second for most drivers – don’t speed up just because they go faster.”

Troopers ask that if you are walking on the roadways, pedestrians should carry a flashlight, wear reflective clothing and walk on a sidewalk if available. Pedestrians are reminded to cross in marked crosswalks, obey pedestrian signals, walk facing traffic, and avoid walking in poorly lit areas whenever possible.