According to a preliminary estimate released on Tuesday, traffic deaths in the United States increased by 10.5 percent to 42,915 in 2021, the largest number of deaths on American roads in a single year since 2005.
Since the National Highway Road Safety Administration (NHTSA) began utilizing its current traffic fatality tracking method in 1975, the annual rise has been the greatest.
The number of pedestrians killed increased by 13% to 7,342, the greatest amount recorded since 1981. According to an NHTSA data, the number of individuals died while riding bicycles increased by 5% to 985, the highest figure since at least 1980.
“We are confronted with a catastrophe on America’s highways that we must handle collectively,” stated USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
The USDOT developed a strategy in January aimed at reducing the rising incidence of traffic deaths on American roadways.
After pandemic lockdowns ended in 2020, traffic deaths increased as more drivers participated in risky conduct.
“During the pandemic, an increase in dangerous driving – speeding, distracted driving, drug- and alcohol-impaired driving, not buckling up – combined with roads designed for speed rather than safety has wiped out a decade and a half of progress in reducing traffic crashes, injuries, and deaths,” according to a statement from the Governors Highway Safety Association.
In 2020, traffic fatalities are expected to increase by 6.8%. They’ve risen 18% since the start of the epidemic in 2019.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the mortality rate in 2021 will be 1.33 per 100 million miles traveled, down from 1.34 in 2020, which was the highest rate since 2007.
According to the NHTSA, one reason for the large increase in 2020 was that drivers who stayed on the road engaged in hazardous conduct.
COVID-19 caused some motorists to believe that police were less likely to issue fines as U.S. roadways got less busy, according to experts.
According to NHTSA statistics from 2020, instances of speeding and driving without wearing a seatbelt were greater than before the pandemic. Even while mortality soared, the number of collisions declined 22% to 5.25 million in 2020, and the number of people wounded fell 17% to 2.28 million.