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Lack of travel leads to decline in fatal wrecks in Alabama

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Traffic accidents are killing fewer people in Alabama as people stay home more and drive less during the pandemic.

Highway deaths in April dropped 58% from March and 42% from a year earlier, according to statistics from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. State troopers also investigated 43% fewer traffic accidents in April than in March.

Troopers in Mobile and Baldwin, which are crossed by both Interstate 10 and I-65, worked only one fatal crash in April, a motorcycle accident in Grand Bay.

“It’s pretty unusual for around here. That kind of stood out,” Lt. Joe Piggott, a state trooper spokesman, told WALA-TV.

The statistics don’t include numbers from local police agencies, but they are similar to data from the Alabama Department of Transportation, which has vehicle counters along Interstate 10 and I-65. Traffic volume over a nearly three-week period in April was down by about 46% compared with the same period in 2019.

One consequence of less congestion may be a tendency for drivers who are on the roads to drive faster.

“It seems like the speeds are increasing on the highways,” Piggott said. “We’ve clocked quite a few at triple digits.”

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