Sometimes we pay a price for the mobility we generally enjoy. During the coronavirus pandemic and associated stay home orders, that mobility was restricted and it was especially evident on our state’s roadways. The Michigan Department of Transportation estimates that traffic volumes were down approximately 60 percent as of mid-April. Michigan State Police reported that as of May 19, there were 410 fewer serious injuries across the state as compared to the same time last year. Traffic fatalities were down 25 percent for the first four months of 2020 as compared to 2019.
Public officials urged residents to be cautious in their everyday activities so as to avoid accidents and it appears citizen heeded that call. Lapeer County Central Dispatch recently confirmed that their calls for service were down 26 percent in the first five months of 2020 compared to 2019. Besides lessening the burden on hospitals and health care workers, staying home and being safe meant we interacted less with first responders and helped slow the spread of the virus among this critical workforce too.
As we begin to venture out more, please do your part to drive safely so you and your friends and neighbors can go home to their families at night too. Slow down for orange barrels and road repair crews this summer. Take the necessary precautions when towing a camper, boat or trailer. Whatever the circumstances, don’t drink and drive. Use your seat belt on every trip, big or small, and utilize a reminder system to keep you from accidentally leaving a child or pet in a hot car.
We’ve all sacrificed in some way these past few months to help each other stay safe and healthy and, the research shows, it worked. Let’s continue being mindful of how we can look out for each other and stay safe in our travels this summer.