THURSDAY, March 3, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — Though Individuals drove much less within the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, near 39,000 lives have been misplaced on U.S. roadways in 2020 — the very best loss of life toll since 2007, the U.S. Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) stories.
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 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 have been down in 2020, deadly crashes and fatalities elevated,” Cliff mentioned in an company information launch. “We can not permit this to grow to be 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 Individuals have been in lockdown, highway deaths elevated although 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 have been both rushing, impaired by alcohol, or not sporting a seat belt.
Different main findings from the 2019-2020 information:
- 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 very best quantity since information was first collected in 1975.
- Bicyclist deaths elevated greater than 9%, hitting the very best quantity since 1987.
- Fatalities in cities rose nearly 9%, and pedestrian deaths approached 4%, the very 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 brought on by a mixture of things,” mentioned Pam Shadel Fischer, senior director of exterior engagement with the Governors Freeway Security Affiliation.
“The security of all highway customers have to be the highest precedence in the case 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 highway 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 Nationwide Roadway Security Technique based mostly on the Protected System method. Nonetheless, 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 not and should not settle for these deaths as inevitable,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg mentioned.
“Individuals ought to depart the home and know they’re going to get to their vacation spot safely,” Buttigieg added within the NHTSA information launch.
The NHTSA has secure driving ideas.
SOURCES: U.S. Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration, information launch, March 2, 2022; Governors Freeway Security Affiliation, information launch, March 2, 2022