Update to Special Reports on Traffic Safety During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency: Fourth Quarter Data

Link: https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/2021-06/Update_Traffic%20Safety%20During%20COVID-19_4thQtr-060121-web.pdf

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The NEMSIS data include metrics on crash severity. For people treated at the scenes of motor vehicle crashes, EMS professionals use an injury scoring system called the Revised Trauma Score (RTS) to determine the level of care needed to save the lives of the injured. Under
RTS, patients who present with a probability of survival of 36.1% or less are considered severely injured and are often transported to Level 1 or Level 2 trauma centers that provide higher levels of critical care to the most severely injured. Figure 4 shows the percentage of
patients in crashes whose probability of survival was in this range for 2019 and 2020. Beginning in Week 12 of 2020, the percentage of those injured with a probability of survival of 36.1% or less never dropped below 1%, suggesting an increase in the severity of crashes.

Publication Date: June 2021

Publication Site: NHTSA

Early Estimates of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities and Fatality Rate by Sub-Categories in 2020

Link: https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/813118

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Total fatality rate per 100 million VMT [vehicle miles traveled] is broken down by roadway function class: rural versus urban interstate, arterial, local/collector/street. The results shown in Figure 2 indicate that the increased trend of the total fatality rate per 100 million VMT from March to December 2020, was mainly driven by the fatality rate per 100 million VMT on the rural local/collector/street, rural and urban arterial roadways.

Publication Date: May 2021

Publication Site: NHTSA

Deaths of despair and the incidence of excess mortality in 2020

Link: https://voxeu.org/article/deaths-despair-and-incidence-excess-mortality-2020

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Mortality in 2020 significantly exceeds what would have occurred if official COVID-19 deaths were combined with a normal number of deaths from other causes. The demographic and time patterns of the non-COVID-19 excess deaths (NCEDs) point to deaths of despair rather than an undercount of COVID-19 deaths. The flow of NCEDs increased steadily from March to June and then plateaued. They were disproportionately experienced by working-age men, including men as young as 15 to 24. The chart below, reproduced from Mulligan (2020b), shows these results for men aged 15–54. To compare the weekly timing of their excess deaths to a weekly measure of economic conditions, Figure 1 also includes continued state unemployment claims scaled by a factor of 25,000, shown together with deaths.

Author(s): Casey Mulligan

Publication Date: 28 January 2021

Publication Site: Vox EU

Association of State-Issued Mask Mandates and Allowing On-Premises Restaurant Dining with County-Level COVID-19 Case and Death Growth Rates — United States, March 1–December 31, 2020

Link: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7010e3.htm?fbclid=IwAR3O5YrbN3joxCwg8trS8gLSXanQAGhCzfVG8rw0ajeatZXIoNcQRVdrmOE

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During March 1–December 31, 2020, state-issued mask mandates applied in 2,313 (73.6%) of the 3,142 U.S. counties. Mask mandates were associated with a 0.5 percentage point decrease (p = 0.02) in daily COVID-19 case growth rates 1–20 days after implementation and decreases of 1.1, 1.5, 1.7, and 1.8 percentage points 21–40, 41–60, 61–80, and 81–100 days, respectively, after implementation (p<0.01 for all) (Table 1) (Figure). Mask mandates were associated with a 0.7 percentage point decrease (p = 0.03) in daily COVID-19 death growth rates 1–20 days after implementation and decreases of 1.0, 1.4, 1.6, and 1.9 percentage points 21–40, 41–60, 61–80, and 81–100 days, respectively, after implementation (p<0.01 for all). Daily case and death growth rates before implementation of mask mandates were not statistically different from the reference period.

Author(s): Gery P. Guy Jr., PhD1; Florence C. Lee, MPH1; Gregory Sunshine, JD1; Russell McCord, JD1; Mara Howard-Williams, JD2; Lyudmyla Kompaniyets, PhD1; Christopher Dunphy, PhD1; Maxim Gakh, JD3; Regen Weber1; Erin Sauber-Schatz, PhD1; John D. Omura, MD1; Greta M. Massetti, PhD1; CDC COVID-19 Response Team, Mitigation Policy Analysis Unit; CDC Public Health Law Program

Publication Date: 12 March 2021

Publication Site: CDC

Mortality with Meep: On Excess non-COVID Mortality in 2020

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/mortality-with-meep-on-excess-non

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All of the excess mortality for age 85+ can be explained by COVID, essentially

Very little of the excess mortality for those age 15-24 can be explained by COVID

There is a lot of excess mortality for those age 25-44 not explained by COVID

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 22 May 2021

Publication Site: STUMP at substack

Motor Vehicle Deaths in 2020 Estimated to be Highest in 13 Years, Despite Dramatic Drops in Miles Driven

Link: https://www.nsc.org/newsroom/motor-vehicle-deaths-2020-estimated-to-be-highest

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For the first time since 2007, preliminary data from the National Safety Council show that as many as 42,060 people are estimated to have died in motor vehicle crashes in 2020. That marks an 8% increase over 2019 in a year where people drove significantly less frequently because of the pandemic. The preliminary estimated rate of death on the roads last year spiked 24% over the previous 12-month period, despite miles driven dropping 13%. The increase in the rate of death is the highest estimated year-over-year jump that NSC has calculated since 1924 – 96 years. It underscores the nation’s persistent failure to prioritize safety on the roads, which became emptier but far more deadly.  

An estimated 4.8 million additional roadway users were seriously injured in crashes in 2020, and the estimated cost to society was $474 billion. With the alarming picture painted by these data, NSC is urging President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to commit to zero roadway deaths by 2050 – a call NSC and more than 1,500 other organizations and individuals made in January in a letter to the new administration. 

Publication Date: 4 March 2021

Publication Site: National Safety Council

Mortality with Meep: Location of Death Data for 1999-2020, Entire United States

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/mortality-with-meep-looking-at-location

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For a few locations, it’s pretty clear that COVID explains almost all their excess deaths: inpatient healthcare facilities and nursing homes. Indeed, it looks like over 100% of the nursing home excess mortality came from COVID, which accords with what I see with excess mortality for older people.

However, there is a lot of excess mortality for people who died at home, and most of that is currently unexplained by COVID.

I don’t think it will be — I think we will find those excess diabetes, heart attack, and ‘unintentional injury’ deaths will have been at home, and because of lockdowns there weren’t other people around to get these people to treatment before they died. This accords with what Emma Woodhouse saw for Illinois – that pattern holds for the entire U.S., it seems.

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 20 April 2021

Publication Site: STUMP at substack

Deaths in Vehicle Crashes Up 38% in South Dakota in 2020

Link: https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/midwest/2021/04/16/610222.htm

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The number of traffic crash fatalities in South Dakota rose to 141 last year — an increase of 38% over the previous year.

The South Dakota Department of Public Safety said in 2020, there were 132 crashes in which the fatalities occurred.

In 2019, 102 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes, the lowest in state history since records have been kept beginning in 1947. The number of fatal crashes in 2019 was 88, also a record low.

Publication Date: 16 April 2021

Publication Site: Insurance Journal

US suicides dropped amid coronavirus, defying pandemic expectations

Link: https://www.foxnews.com/health/us-suicides-dropped-amid-coronavirus-defying-pandemic-expectations

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The number of U.S. suicides fell nearly 6% last year amid the coronavirus pandemic — the largest annual decline in at least four decades, according to preliminary government data.

Death certificates are still coming in and the count could rise. But officials expect a substantial decline will endure, despite worries that COVID-19 could lead to more suicides.

….

U.S. suicides steadily rose from the early 2000s until 2018, when the national suicide rate hit its highest level since 1941. The rate finally fell slightly in 2019. Experts credited increased mental health screenings and other suicide prevention efforts.

The number fell further last year, to below 45,000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a recent report. It was the lowest number of U.S. suicide deaths since 2015.

Author(s): Associated Press

Publication Date: 9 April 2021

Publication Site: Fox News

Mortality with Meep: Top Causes of Death in the United States in 2020

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/mortality-with-meep-top-causes-of

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You’ll see that among adults, the age range with the most suicides are people age 50-55. That’s due to two things: the number of people in that age range (early Gen X, so tailing off from Boomers) and the rate. For each age group far more males die by suicide than do females.

You can see that deaths by suicide in number drop off in old age…. but that’s because the population is dropping off in size (as mortality rates accelerate at high ages).

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 12 April 2021

Publication Site: STUMP at substack