According to new data from the Georgia Department of Transportation, the number of deaths caused by traffic accidents, as well as the number of cars on the road in general, is lower this year than it was at this time last year.
Fewer drivers took to the road last month as more people began working from home and more counties and cities started imposing shelter-in-place orders.
In March 2019, 143 people in Georgia were killed in car wrecks on interstates, according to GDOT data. By comparison, tentative numbers indicate that figure was 12.6% lower last month, with 125 deaths.
The first cases of COVID-19 in Georgia were reported in Fulton County on March 3. Just over a week later on March 11, the World Health Organization officially declared coronavirus a global pandemic.
Asia Simone Burns is a watchdog reporter for the AJC. Burns was formerly an intern in AJC’s newsroom and now writes about crime. She is a graduate of Samford University and has previously reported for NPR and WABE, Atlanta’s NPR member station.