Road deaths hit 16-year high in first six months of 2022

According to a preliminary estimate released by US regulators, the number of road traffic deaths in the US rose by 0.5% in the first half of 2022 to 20,175, the highest since 2006.

Road deaths have jumped since pandemic lockdowns ended as more drivers behave unsafely. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said on Monday that road traffic deaths fell 4.9% in the second quarter, the first drop in deaths after seven consecutive quarters of year-over-year increases in deaths, but still significantly higher. pre-pandemic level.

U.S. road deaths hit 20-year high in early 2022

As U.S. roads became less congested during the pandemic, experts said, some motorists felt that police were less likely to issue tickets, which likely led to more risky behavior on the roads.

The NHTSA study shows that the number of cases of speeding and trips without seat belts was higher than before the pandemic.

In 2021, the number of pedestrians killed jumped 13% to 7,342, the most since 1981. Bicycle fatalities rose 5% to 985, the highest number since at least 1980, according to NHTSA.

Pedestrian fatalities are predicted to reach the highest level in 40 years

Earlier this month, the NHTSA lost its administrator after Steve Cliff took over the leadership of the California Air Resources Board and the agency is led full-time by its general counsel, Ann Carlson, who said that despite a decline in the second quarter, “the number people dying on the roads in this country continues the crisis.

Security advocacy groups have urged the administration to move quickly to fill the top NHTSA position, which has never been filled under President Donald Trump.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told reporters last week that the administration was “actively working” to select a candidate for the top NHTSA job.

Buttigieg said the United States needs safer drivers, vehicles, roads and speeds.

“These deaths are preventable, not inevitable, and we must act accordingly,” Buttigieg said in a statement on Monday.

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