Traffic Safety Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Fatal Crashes Relative to Pre-Pandemic Trends, United States, May–December 2020

Link: https://aaafoundation.org/traffic-safety-impact-of-the-covid-19-pandemic-fatal-crashes-relative-to-pre-pandemic-trends-united-states-may-december-2020/

PDF: https://aaafoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/22-1339-AAAFTS_Impact-of-COVID-19_Research-Brief_r3.pdf

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Excerpt:

A total of 38,824 people died in motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. in 2020, 2,570 (7.1%) more than forecast from models developed using data from 2011 through 2019 (Figure). In April 2020—the first full month of the pandemic—the number of fatalities was much lower than what would have been expected based on pre-pandemic trends. By May 2020, however, the actual number of fatalities was similar to historical levels. The number of fatalities greatly exceeded forecasts based on pre-pandemic trends for the remainder of 2020. In May through December collectively, there were a total of 28,611 traffic fatalities nationwide, which was 3,083 (12.1%) more than expected based on pre-pandemic trends.

The increase in traffic fatalities was not uniform across crash-, vehicle-, and driver-related factors. Scenarios present in greater than expected numbers in fatal crashes in 2020 included evening and late-night hours, speeding drivers, drivers with illegal alcohol levels, drivers without valid licenses, drivers of older vehicles, drivers of vehicles registered to other people, crash involvement and deaths of teens and young adults, and deaths of vehicle occupants not wearing seatbelts. In contrast, several crash types followed pre-pandemic trends (e.g., crashes in the middle of the day; crash involvements of drivers with valid licenses; pedestrian fatalities), and a few decreased (e.g., crashes of elderly drivers; crashes during typical morning commute hours).

Author(s): Brian C. Tefft, Meng Wang

Publication Date: December 2022

Publication Site: AAA Foundation

Massive Collapse in Used Car Prices and Bankrupt Dealers Is Coming Right Up

Link: https://mishtalk.com/economics/massive-collapse-in-used-car-prices-and-bankrupt-dealers-is-coming-right-up

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Excerpt:

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1604114489133223937.html


CarDealershipGuy

Carvana may have just quietly started liquidating:

The company is now advertising its *retail* inventory to *wholesale* dealers.

Look at the $5,000 price difference. Wild times.

These are all retail-ready cars being advertised to other dealers – likely at a big loss.

(h/t RayMF for submission)

Alright everyone is asking how to take advantage – here you go:

Dealers: If you’re willing to buy one of these cars for consumers at a flat $600 mark-up, please comment below.

Consumers: If you want one of these cars and willing to pay a flat $600 mark-up, DM the dealer.

Author(s): Mike Shedlock, CarDealershipGuy

Publication Date: 17 Dec 2022

Publication Site: Mish Talk, Twitter

Defining Discrimination in Insurance

Link: https://www.casact.org/sites/default/files/2022-03/Research-Paper_Defining_Discrimination_In_Insurance.pdf

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Unfair Discrimination without Disproportionate Impact. As previously defined, unfair discrimination occurs when rating variables that have no relationship to expected loss are used. A hypothetical example could be if an insurer decided to use rating factors that charged those with red cars higher rates, even if the data did not show this. In this case, there would be no disproportionate impact, assuming protected classes do not own a large majority of red cars.
Disparate Treatment. Disparate treatment and unfair discrimination are not directly related if we use the Fair Trade Act definition of unfair discrimination. However, in states where rating on protected class is defined to be unfair discrimination, disparate treatment would be a subset of unfair discrimination. In such cases, an insurer would explicitly use protected class to charge higher rates, with the intention of prejudicing against that class.
Intentional Proxy Discrimination. If proxy discrimination is defined to require intent, it would be a subset of disparate treatment, whereby an insurer would deliberately substitute a facially neutral variable for protected class for the purpose of discrimination. Redlining is an example of this type of discrimination, given the use of location characteristics as proxies for race and social class.
Disproportionate Impact. Disproportionate impact focuses on effect on protected class, even if there is a relationship to expected loss. An example of this is the one mentioned in the AAA study, whereby a rating plan that uses age could disproportionately impact a minority group if those in that minority group tend to have higher risk ages. This disproportionate impact is not necessarily the same as proxy discrimination, since it is likely that even after controlling for minority status, age would have a relationship to
expected costs.

Unintentional Proxy Discrimination. If proxy discrimination is defined to be unintentional, the focus is more on disproportionate outcomes and the variables used to substitute for protected class. Several variables are being investigated by regulators to potentially be proxy discrimination and include criminal history for auto insurance rating. In order to prove proxy discrimination, an analysis would have to be performed to understand the extent to which criminal history proxies for minority status, and whether its predictive power would decrease when controlling for protected class. It is important to note once
again that terms like “unintentional proxy discrimination” may be subsumed by “disparate impact,” but they are included in this paper to show how various stakeholders use the term differently.
Disparate Impact. Disparate impact is unintentional discrimination, where there is disproportionate impact, but also other legal requirements, such as the existence of alternatives. To date, no disparate impact lawsuits against insurance companies have been won. An example of potential disparate impact (although it was not litigated as a lawsuit) is from health care. Optum used an algorithm to identify and allocate additional care to patients with complex healthcare needs. The algorithm was designed to create a risk score for each patient during the enrollment period. Patients above the 97th percentile were automatically enrolled in the program and thus allocated additional care. Upon an independent peer review of the model, researchers found that the model was in fact allocating artificially lower scores to Black patients, even though the model did not use race. The reason behind this was the model’s use of prior healthcare costs as an input. Black patients typically spend less than white patients on health care, which artificially allocated better health to Black patients.18
Unfair Discrimination and Disproportionate Impact. In this case, an insurer would use a variable that both has no relationship to expected loss, but also has an outsized effect on protected classes. An example of this could be the same red car case above, but where protected classes also owned almost all the red cars. In this case, higher rates would create a disproportionate effect on protected classes, while also having no relationship to expected loss.

Author(s): Kudakwashe F. Chibanda, FCAS

Publication Date: 2022

Publication Site: Casualty Actuarial Society

$50 to drive to Manhattan. $100 to come into N.J. How a fight over traffic cameras could prove costly.

Link: https://www.nj.com/news/2022/10/50-to-drive-to-manhattan-100-to-come-into-nj-how-a-fight-over-traffic-cameras-could-prove-costly.html

Excerpt:

A war of words between New York and New Jersey legislators over red light cameras could prove costly to commuters who could be slapped with hefty fees to travel between New York City and the Garden State.

New York lawmakers want to slap Jersey drivers with a $50 “non-cooperation fee” when they drive into New York City, in response to a bill that would bar the state Motor Vehicle Commission from helping New York enforce red light and speed camera tickets against Garden State drivers.

If passed by New York State’s senate and assembly, that charge would be on top of the $16 cash toll to cross the Hudson into Manhattan, and could be added to proposed congestion pricing fees for driving south of 60th Street, that might take effect in 2024.

….

O’Scanlon reiterated his long standing opposition to automated enforcement, citing his analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety administration statistics that showed red light camera and other automated enforcement did not translate in to lower death rates in states that had them.

“There is no correlation to safety benefits. Every unbiased assessment showed no benefit,” he said. “It’s a demonstrable fact that automated enforcement and red light camera systems don’t improve safety.”

Author(s): Larry Higgs

Publication Date: 1 Oct 2022

Publication Site: NJ.com

Consumer Watchdog Calls on Insurance Commissioner Lara to Reject Allstate’s Job-Based Insurance Rate Discrimination, Adopt Regulations to Stop the Practice Industrywide

Link: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/consumer-watchdog-calls-on-insurance-commissioner-lara-to-reject-allstates-job-based-insurance-rate-discrimination-adopt-regulations-to-stop-the-practice-industrywide-301631577.html

Additional: https://consumerwatchdog.org/sites/default/files/2022-09/2022-09-22%20Ltr%20to%20Commissioner%20re%20Allstate%20Auto%20Rate%20Application%20w%20Exhibits.pdf

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Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara should reject Allstate’s proposed $165 million auto insurance rate hike and its two-tiered job- and education-based discriminatory rating system, wrote Consumer Watchdog in a letter sent to the Commissioner today. The group called on the Commissioner to adopt regulations to require all insurance companies industrywide to rate Californians fairly, regardless of their job or education levels, as he promised to do nearly three years ago. Additionally, the group urged the Commissioner to notice a public hearing to determine the additional amounts Allstate owes its customers for premium overcharges during the COVID-19 pandemic, when most Californians were driving less.

Overall, the rate hike will impact over 900,000 Allstate policyholders, who face an average $167 annual premium increase.

Under Allstate’s proposed job-based rating plan, low-income workers such as custodians, construction workers, and grocery clerks will pay higher premiums than drivers in the company’s preferred “professional” occupations, including engineers with a college degree, who get an arbitrary 4% rate reduction.

Author(s): Consumer Watchdog

Publication Date: 22 Sept 2022

Publication Site: PRNewswire

Crash Curse: In New York City, traffic deaths are up as enforcement is down.

Link: https://www.city-journal.org/nyc-traffic-deaths-up-as-enforcement-is-down

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Since the Covid pandemic hit New York City in March 2020, traffic deaths have skyrocketed, just as they have across the country. Locally and nationally, these deaths have paralleled the same double-digit trajectory upward as homicides and drug-overdose deaths. In 2019, 220 New Yorkers died on city streets, near the record low of 206, set the year before. In 2021, 273 people died, a nearly one-quarter increase in two years. In 2022, as of late May, 93 people have died, down slightly from last year, but 12 percent above pre-Covid levels.

….

s in many areas of public safety and public health, New York City started the pandemic with an advantage. In 2019, the city’s 220 traffic deaths—whether people in cars, or pedestrians, or cyclists—represented a per-capita rate of about 2.6 per 100,000 residents, just a small fraction of the 11.1 per 100,000 killed nationwide. Among large, urbanized areas, New York stood out for safety, as well. In Miami-Dade County in 2019, for example, the rate was 11 per 100,000; metro Atlanta’s rate was similar. Even among denser northeastern and mid-Atlantic cities, which have long had lower traffic-death rates than the sprawling south and west, New York performed slightly better than Boston, with its 2.8 traffic deaths per 100,000, and much better than Philadelphia, with its 5.7 deaths per 100,000.

Pre-pandemic, New York’s falling traffic deaths made it a national outlier. Between 2011, when traffic deaths hit a modern low nationwide, and 2019, such fatalities across the country rose by 11.9 percent, to 36,355 annually. In Gotham over this period, by contrast, they fell 12 percent. The difference in pedestrian casualties was especially striking. Nationwide, pedestrian deaths began rising in 2010, after having fallen, reasonably steadily, for at least three decades. By 2019, annual pedestrian deaths had risen from their 2009 low by more than half. But in New York, pedestrian deaths fell by 21.5 percent over the same near-decade.

Author(s): Nicole Gelinas

Publication Date: Summer 2022

Publication Site: City Journal

NHTSA Launches New Campaign to Remind Drivers Speeding Wrecks Lives

Link: https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/nhtsa-launches-new-campaign-remind-drivers-speeding-wrecks-lives

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As part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s comprehensive safety strategy to prevent traffic deaths, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is launching a public education campaign across the country to address one of America’s most dangerous driving behaviors. Tomorrow, the agency kicks off the Speeding Wrecks Lives campaign aimed at changing general attitudes toward speeding and reminding drivers of the deadly consequences.

The campaign, which will run July 20-August 14, is supported by an $8 million national media buy featuring English and Spanish-language ads running on television, radio and digital platforms. The ads target drivers ages 18 to 44, who data show are most likely to be involved in speeding-related fatal crashes.

….

According to NHTSA data, 11,258 people died in speeding-related crashes in 2020, and speeding was a contributing factor in 29% of all fatal crashes. Even with fewer cars on the road during the pandemic, 2020 saw a dramatic increase (17%) in speeding-related deaths compared to 2019. The data also showed additional concerning statistics in 2020:

Local roads saw the most speeding, with 87% of all speeding-related traffic fatalities occurring on non-interstate roads. 

Speeding contributed to 37% of the fatal crashes in work zones.

Speeding was a factor in more fatal crashes on wet roads than dry roads. 

Drinking and speeding is the deadliest combination. Of the drivers involved in fatal crashes, 37% were speeding and had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.

Author(s):

Publication Date: 19 Jul 2022

Publication Site: NHTSA

Dangerous by Design 2022

Link: https://smartgrowthamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Dangerous-By-Design-2022-v3.pdf

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While the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic
upended many aspects of daily life, including
how people get around, one terrible, long-term
trend was unchanged: the alarming increase in
people being struck and killed while walking.
The number of people struck and killed while
walking has been steadily increasing since 2009,
reaching another new high in 2020 and likely a
historic one in 2021.

More than 6,500 people— nearly 18 per day—
were struck and killed while walking in 2020, a
4.7 percent increase over 2019, even as driving
decreased overall because of the pandemic’s
unprecedented disruptions to travel behavior.1

Publication Date: July 2022

Publication Site: Smart Growth America

US pedestrian deaths are reaching a new high

Link: https://www.popsci.com/technology/pedestrian-deaths-spike-us/

Excerpt:

When thinking of traffic accidents, it would be an understandable reaction to imagine a car crash: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that nearly 43,000 people died in 2021 on US roads. That’s a 10.5 percent jump from 2020 and the most fatalities since 2005. But pedestrian deaths are another form of traffic accident—and those rates are rising, fast. 

new study from Smart Growth America, an urban development-focused nonprofit, found that the number of pedestrian fatalities spiked more than 60 percent in the last decade. In 2020 alone, more than 6,500 people were struck and killed by vehicles—a record high that equates to nearly 18 people dying every day. And despite fewer cars on the road during the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of pedestrian deaths might have been even higher in 2021, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Preliminary data from GHSA suggests that roughly 7,500 people were killed last year. If confirmed, this would be the highest number in 40 years. 

The study also presents new data identifying the deadliest metro areas and states for pedestrians. That the US experiences more pedestrian deaths than any other high-income nation isn’t random, researchers from Smart Growth America say. It’s by design.

Author(s): MARIA PARAZO ROSE

Publication Date: 16 Jul 2022

Publication Site: Popular Science

Teslas running Autopilot involved in 273 crashes reported since last year

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/06/15/tesla-autopilot-crashes/

Excerpt:

Tesla vehicles running its Autopilot software have been involved in 273 reported crashes over roughly the past year, according to regulators, far more than previously known and providing concrete evidence regarding the real-world performance of its futuristic features.

The numbers, which were published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the first time Wednesday, show that Tesla vehicles made up nearly 70 percent of the 392 crashes involving advanced driver-assistance systems reported since last July, and a majority of the fatalities and serious injuries — some of which date back further than a year. Eight of the Tesla crashes took place before June 2021, according to data released by NHTSA on Wednesday morning.

Previously, NHTSA said it had probed 42 crashes potentially involving driver assistance, 35 of which included Tesla vehicles, in a more limited data set that stretched back to 2016.

Of the six fatalities listed in the data set published Wednesday, five were tied to Tesla vehicles — including a July 2021 crash involving a pedestrian in Flushing, Queens, and a fatal crash in March in Castro Valley, Calif. Some dated as far back as 2019.

Author(s): Faiz Siddiqui, Rachel Lerman and Jeremy B. Merrill

Publication Date: 15 Jun 2022

Publication Site: Washington Post

Evaluating Unintentional Bias in Private Passenger Automobile Insurance

Link: https://disb.dc.gov/page/evaluating-unintentional-bias-private-passenger-automobile-insurance

Public Hearing Notice: Evaluating Unintentional Bias in Private Passenger Automobile Insurance, June 29, 2022, 3 pm

Excerpt:

In 2020, Commissioner Karima Woods, Commissioner for the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) directed the creation of the Department’s first Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee to engage in a wide-ranging review of financial equity and inclusion and to make recommendations to remove barriers to accessing financial services. Department staff developed draft initiatives, including an initiative related to insurers’ use of factors such as credit scores, education, occupation, home ownership and marital status in underwriting and ratemaking. Stakeholder feedback on this draft initiative resulted in the Department concluding that data was necessary to properly address this initiative. Department staff conducted research and contacted subject matter experts before determining that relevant data was not generally available.

The Department is undertaking this project to collect the relevant data. We determined this initiative will be deliberative and transparent to ensure the resultant data would address the issue of unintentional bias. We also decided to initially focus on private passenger automobile insurance as that is a line of insurance that affects many District consumers and has previously had questions raised about the use of non-driving factors. The collected data will build on previous work done by the Department through the 2018 and 2019 public hearings and examinations that looked at private passenger automobile insurance ratemaking methodologies.

For this project to look at the potential for unintentional bias in auto insurance, DISB will conduct a review of auto insurers’ rating and underwriting methodologies. As a first step, DISB will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, June 29, 2022 at 3 pm to gather stakeholder input on the review plan, which is outlined below. The Department has engaged the services of O’Neil Risk Consulting and Algorithmic Auditing (ORCAA) to assist the Department and provide subject matter expertise. Additionally, the Department will hold one or more meetings to follow up on any items raised during the public hearing.

Publication Date: accessed 18 Jun 2022

Publication Site: District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities & Banking

NHTSA Releases Initial Data on Safety Performance of Advanced Vehicle Technologies

Link: https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/initial-data-release-advanced-vehicle-technologies

Report for Level 2 ADAS: https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/2022-06/ADAS-L2-SGO-Report-June-2022.pdf

Report for Levels 3-5: https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/2022-06/ADS-SGO-Report-June-2022.pdf

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Today, as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s efforts to increase roadway safety and encourage innovation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published the initial round of data it has collected through its Standing General Order issued last year and initial accompanying reports summarizing this data.

The SAE Level 2 advanced driver assistance systems summary report is available here, while the SAE Levels 3-5 automated driving systems summary report is available here. Going forward, NHTSA will release data updates monthly.

These data reflect a set of crashes that automakers and operators reported to NHTSA from the time the Standing General Order was issued last June. While not comprehensive, the data are important and provide NHTSA with immediate information about crashes that occur with vehicles that have various levels of automated systems deployed at least 30 seconds before the crash occurred.

“The data released today are part of our commitment to transparency, accountability and public safety,” said Dr. Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s Administrator. “New vehicle technologies have the potential to help prevent crashes, reduce crash severity and save lives, and the Department is interested in fostering technologies that are proven to do so; collecting this data is an important step in that effort. As we gather more data, NHTSA will be able to better identify any emerging risks or trends and learn more about how these technologies are performing in the real world.”

Publication Date: 15 June 2022

Publication Site: NHTSA