Nearly 43,000 US road deaths recorded last year – highest in 16 years | American News



Nearly 43,000 people died on US roads last year, the highest number in 16 years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found there was a 10.5% increase in fatalities in 2021 compared to 2020, with 42,915 fatalities, or nearly 118 people each day.

The jump was the biggest increase since NHTSA began collecting death data in 1975.

The Governors Highway Safety Association blamed the increase on dangerous behaviors such as speeding, driving while impaired by alcohol and drugs, and distracted driving.

They said “roads [have been] designed for speed instead of safety.”

Since their return to the roads after the pandemic, the inhabitants of WE drove about 325 billion miles last year, 11.2% more than in 2020, which contributed to the increase.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg urged state and local governments, drivers and safety advocates to join the effort to reverse the rising death rate.

NHTSA reported that fatalities in urban areas and fatalities in multiple-vehicle crashes increased 16%, pedestrian fatalities increased 13%, and fatalities involving drivers age 65 or older increased by 14%.

Incidents involving motorcycles that caused fatalities increased by 9% while fatalities involving bicycles increased by 5%.

Buttigieg said his department will provide advice and billions under President Biden’s new infrastructure law to boost lower speed limits, adopt safer roads with designated bike and bus lanes, as well as lights and speed cameras as part of a national strategy that was unveiled earlier this year.

The department will spend $6 billion over five years on local efforts to reduce crashes and fatalities.

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“The Department of Transportation is moving in the right direction to stem rising fatalities, but many measures will take years to work,” said Michael Brooks, executive director of Auto Safety.

According to Brooks, NHTSA has pending regulations to require electronic automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection systems. He added that emergency braking can slow or stop a vehicle if there is an object in its path.

NHTSA Deputy Administrator Steven Cliff said the roadside crisis is urgent and preventable.

He said: “We will redouble our efforts on safety, and we need everyone – state and local governments, safety advocates, automakers and drivers to join us.

“All our lives depend on it.”

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