THURSDAY, March 3, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — Although People drove much less within the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, near 39,000 lives had been misplaced on U.S. roadways in 2020 — the best demise toll since 2007, the U.S. Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) stories.

Deadly collisions spiked nearly 7% between 2019 and 2020, the security administration revealed in its annual crash report.

“The tragic lack of life of individuals represented by these numbers confirms that we have now a lethal disaster on our nation’s roads,” mentioned Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s deputy administrator.

“Whereas total site visitors crashes and other people injured had been down in 2020, deadly crashes and fatalities elevated,” Cliff mentioned in an company information launch. “We can’t permit this to change into the established order.”

In 2020, the fatality charge per 100 million car miles traveled rose to 1.34, a 21% improve from 2019.

When many People had been in lockdown, street deaths elevated despite the fact that whole car miles traveled fell by 11% from 2019 to 2020, the information confirmed.

Dangerous behaviors contributed to many of those tragedies: In 45% of deadly crashes, drivers of passenger autos had been both dashing, impaired by alcohol, or not sporting a seat belt.

Different main findings from the 2019-2020 knowledge:

  • Deaths involving drunk driving jumped 14%.
  • Deaths of individuals in passenger automobiles elevated 9%, and deaths of unrestrained folks in passenger autos rose 14%.
  • Motorcyclist deaths rose 11%, reaching the best quantity since knowledge was first collected in 1975.
  • Bicyclist deaths elevated greater than 9%, hitting the best quantity since 1987.
  • Fatalities in cities rose nearly 9%, and pedestrian deaths approached 4%, the best quantity since 1989.
  • Deaths in hit-and-run crashes jumped 26%
  • Deaths in large-truck crashes declined 1.3%.
  • Police-reported crashes declined 22%.
  • Variety of folks injured fell 17%.

“This sudden uptick of lives misplaced in preventable crashes is attributable to a mixture of things,” mentioned Pam Shadel Fischer, senior director of exterior engagement with the Governors Freeway Security Affiliation.

“The protection of all street customers should be the highest precedence on the subject of roadway design. We proceed to face an ongoing security disaster threatening folks strolling, biking, scooting and rolling. Drivers are nonetheless partaking in dangerous behaviors that put all street customers in danger,” Shadel Fischer mentioned in an affiliation assertion.

“The U.S. Division of Transportation has established a nationwide framework for motion in its new National Roadway Safety Strategy based mostly on the Secure System method. Nevertheless, extra motion is clearly wanted on the federal, state and native ranges,” Shadel Fischer mentioned.

The DOT technique requires safer roads, safer folks, safer autos, safer speeds and higher post-crash care.

“The rising fatalities on our roadways are a nationwide disaster; we can’t and should not settle for these deaths as inevitable,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg mentioned.

“Folks ought to go away the home and know they’re going to get to their vacation spot safely,” Buttigieg added within the NHTSA information launch.

Extra info

The NHTSA has secure driving suggestions.

SOURCES: U.S. Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration, information launch, March 2, 2022; Governors Freeway Security Affiliation, information launch, March 2, 2022


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