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THURSDAY, March 3, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — Although 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 best demise toll since 2007, the U.S. Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) studies.
Deadly collisions spiked virtually 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 now we have a lethal disaster on our nation’s roads,” stated Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s deputy administrator.
“Whereas total visitors crashes and folks injured had been down in 2020, deadly crashes and fatalities elevated,” Cliff stated in an company information launch. “We can not permit this to develop into the established order.”
In 2020, the fatality price per 100 million car miles traveled rose to 1.34, a 21% enhance from 2019.
When many People had been in lockdown, highway deaths elevated though complete 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 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 automobiles elevated 9%, and deaths of unrestrained individuals in passenger automobiles 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 virtually 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 attributable to 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 have to be the highest precedence in relation to roadway design. We proceed to face an ongoing security disaster threatening individuals strolling, biking, scooting and rolling. Drivers are nonetheless participating 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 Nationwide Roadway Security Technique based mostly on the Protected System strategy. 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 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 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 Site visitors Security Administration, information launch, March 2, 2022; Governors Freeway Security Affiliation, information launch, March 2, 2022