By Susan Scutti, CNN
Updated at 3:08 PM ET, Mon August 13, 2018
High-temperature days lead to more fatal car crashes while policing efforts decrease
(CNN) — On excessively hot days, there are more likely to be fatal car accidents and food safety problems, and police officers and government food inspectors tend to do less of their duties, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists, who analyzed data from across the United States, suggest that if the climate continues to change, by 2050 — and in another 50 or so years beyond that — our world may be less safe than it is today.
“It also goes up in particularly cold temperatures, but you see a sharper increase in the hot temperature range,” he said.
“So people are more likely to have a fatal crash in hot temperatures, but also, the probability of traffic stops — the number of traffic stops that are conducted in a county on a given day when it is hot — goes down,” Obradovich said.
The results show that police stops decline after a maximum temperature of 29° C (84° F). So in the range of 30° C to 40° C (86° F to 104° F) police stops are reduced by about 1.5%, according to the researchers.
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In short, the effort made by public safety workers and government regulators declines at the time of greatest risk.