THURSDAY, March 3, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — Regardless that 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 very best loss of life toll since 2007, the U.S. Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) experiences.
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 general site visitors crashes and folks injured had 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 fee per 100 million car miles traveled rose to 1.34, a 21% enhance from 2019.
When many People had been in lockdown, street deaths elevated though whole car 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 automobiles had been both dashing, impaired by alcohol, or not carrying a seat belt.
Different main findings from the 2019-2020 knowledge:
Deaths involving drunk driving jumped 14%.Deaths of individuals in passenger vehicles elevated 9%, and deaths of unrestrained folks in passenger automobiles rose 14%.Motorcyclist deaths rose 11%, reaching the very best quantity since knowledge 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 26percentDeaths 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 mix of things,” mentioned Pam Shadel Fischer, senior director of exterior engagement with the Governors Freeway Security Affiliation.
“The security of all street customers should be the highest precedence in terms of roadway design. We proceed to face an ongoing security disaster threatening folks strolling, biking, scooting and rolling. Drivers are nonetheless participating 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 primarily based on the Secure 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 automobiles, 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 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 suggestions.
SOURCES: U.S. Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration, information launch, March 2, 2022; Governors Freeway Security Affiliation, information launch, March 2, 2022