The number of fatal road accidents in the U.S. reached a 20-year high

The number of fatal road accidents in the U.S. reached a 20-year high

According to a preliminary estimate by authorities, the number of traffic deaths jumped by about 7 percent to 9,560 in the first three months of 2022, the highest number in the first quarter since 2002.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), traffic fatalities have skyrocketed since the COVID-19 pandemic began. In 2021, the number of fatal crashes rose 10.5 percent to 42,915. This is the highest annual figure since 2005.

The Biden administration called the situation a “crisis.”

After authorities began lifting pandemic restrictions, the number of traffic fatalities rose sharply. In the first three months of 2022, the number of road fatalities was up 21 percent, compared to 7,893 deaths in the same period in 2020.

“The statistics are still headed in the wrong direction,” outgoing NHTSA chief Steve Cliff said in a statement. – It’s time for all states to redouble their traffic safety efforts.”

Cliff announced last week that he was resigning to take over as head of the Department of Environmental Protection in California. On Friday, public safety groups asked the White House to appoint a new head of the agency as quickly as possible.

Jonathan Adkins, director of the Association of Highway Safety Executives, said that “unfortunately, this is the third consecutive year that there has been an increase in traffic fatalities in the United States.”

In 2021, the number of pedestrian fatalities rose 13 percent to 742, the highest number since 1981. According to NHTSA, the number of bicyclist fatalities rose 5 percent to 985, the highest number since 1980.

Because there are fewer people on U.S. roads during the pandemic, some motorists have come to think that police are less likely to write tickets, experts say. This probably leads to more risky behavior on the roads.