THURSDAY, March 3, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — Although Individuals 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 loss of life toll since 2007, the U.S. Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) reviews.
Deadly collisions spiked nearly 7% between 2019 and 2020, the protection administration revealed in its annual crash report.
“The tragic lack of life of individuals represented by these numbers confirms that we now have a lethal disaster on our nation’s roads,” stated 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 stated in an company information launch. “We can not enable this to develop into the established order.”
In 2020, the fatality price per 100 million automobile miles traveled rose to 1.34, a 21% enhance from 2019.
When many Individuals had been in lockdown, highway deaths elevated although complete automobile miles traveled fell by 11% from 2019 to 2020, the info confirmed.
Dangerous behaviors contributed to many of those tragedies: In 45% of deadly crashes, drivers of passenger autos had been both rushing, 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 individuals 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 individuals injured fell 17%.
“This sudden uptick of lives misplaced in preventable crashes is brought on by a mixture of things,” stated Pam Shadel Fischer, senior director of exterior engagement with the Governors Freeway Security Affiliation.
“The protection of all highway customers should be the highest precedence on the subject of roadway design. We proceed to face an ongoing security disaster threatening individuals strolling, biking, scooting and rolling. Drivers are nonetheless partaking in dangerous behaviors that put all highway customers in danger,” Shadel Fischer stated in an affiliation assertion.
“The U.S. Division of Transportation has established a nationwide framework for motion in its new National Roadway Safety Strategy primarily based on the Secure System method. Nevertheless, extra motion is clearly wanted on the federal, state and native ranges,” Shadel Fischer stated.
The DOT technique requires safer roads, safer individuals, safer autos, safer speeds and higher post-crash care.
“The rising fatalities on our roadways are a nationwide disaster; we can not and should not settle for these deaths as inevitable,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg stated.
“Individuals 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.
The NHTSA has protected driving ideas.
SOURCES: U.S. Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration, information launch, March 2, 2022; Governors Freeway Security Affiliation, information launch, March 2, 2022