Traffic Fatalities Are Up
A recent report created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, show some disturbing information regarding traffic deaths in 2021. The data shows that traffic related fatalities have risen over 10 percent from the year 2020. This increase is the largest single year increase since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration begun recording such data, and also marks the largest number of fatalities per year since 2005. In total, there were 42,915 deaths that occurred on the roads of the United States in 2021. This corresponds to a traffic related fatality every 12.2 minutes, for the entire year. Not surprisingly, the number of deaths increased almost in-step with the number of miles driven in 2021. Due to pandemic related restrictions, many drivers were either not on the roads in 2020 or chose not to drive as many miles, compared to the year 2021. Therefore, the number of fatalities per miles driven as a nation were aligned more or less with the 2020 calendar year. Due to the increase in fatalities and increase in miles driven, the state department, along with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is working to address the problem through the use of increased patrolling, improvements to the safety standards used in road construction, and public awareness programs designed to inform the general public of the dangers of driving and how to mitigate them. Pete Buttigieg, Transportation Secretary for the United States, has recently introduced the Safe Streets and Roads for All program that aims to increase local funding to reduce traffic crashes and fatalities. The report goes on to indicate which categories of driver were the most affected during the 2021 calendar year. Of those categories examined, fatalities involving multiple vehicles, large trucks, pedestrians, persons aged 65 and older, daytime fatalities, and urban settings were up double-digits from 2020. Also of note, motorcycle related fatalities were up nine percent, while bicycle fatalities were up about five percent.
For more information on the report, please click here