This is a broad-based phenomenon. The race gap in traffic deaths has emerged in nearly every US state, in cities and non-cities alike and for nearly every age-gender group. pic.twitter.com/5mx1LMtqus— Aaron Chalfin (@AaronChalfin) November 28, 2022
In contrast we do not find smoking gun evidence for a Ferguson effect in American policing on the roads. While police enforcement is down, it is down in roughly equal measure for Black and White Americans. pic.twitter.com/hyfqyEoBEi— Aaron Chalfin (@AaronChalfin) November 28, 2022
But blacks have been driving worse since Ferguson, and especially since Floyd, as shown by their traffic fatality rates, so they should have been pulled over more.
And if they had been stopped and searched in proportion to their increased bad driving and increased homicides, then the cops would have arrested more due to their packing more guns.
So it’s pretty clear that blacks now face a lower risk relative to their rate of violations.
As for blacks driving worse due to opioid use from 2015 onward, that’s an interesting possibility. On the other hand, whites used a lot of opioids in 2000 to 2015 with little noticeable effect on traffic or homicide fatalities. Case and Deaton called opioids one of the main causes of deaths of despair among the white working class. In contrast, the Ferguson and especially Floyd Effects on murders and car crashes look more like Deaths of Exuberance.
In any case, this is a brave paper to blame the recent sudden rises in black traffic fatalities on black behavior rather than on slavery, Jim Crow, redlining, and racist roads.