USDOT Releases New Traffic Fatality Estimates Showing 2021 Reached a 16-Year High
According to a report published on nhtsa.gov, the United States Department of Transportation, in response to the traffic fatalities crisis, revealed its new National Roadway Safety Strategy. The National Roadway Safety Strategy will receive resources from President Joe Biden's bipartisan infrastructure law.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released its traffic fatality estimate for 2021. The NHTSA estimated that nearly 43,000 people in the United States died in traffic accidents in 2021. This was a 10.5% increase over 2020. The NHTSA's projection is the highest number of deaths since 2005 and is the largest yearly percentage upsurge in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System's history.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg stated that America is facing a crisis that must be addressed. He also stated that with the National Roadway Safety Strategy and President Biden's infrastructure law, the government is taking action to reverse this devastating trend and help save lives.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law focuses on enhancing traffic safety and includes the Safe Streets and Roads for All Program. This program invests up to $6 billion into local efforts that will reduce roadway crashes and deaths. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also advances the Complete Streets policies and standards, which require Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices updates, which define lane markings, speeds, traffic lights, and other improvements on most roads in the United States. The budget for the Highway Safety Improvement Program will also be increased. The Highway Safety Improvement Program helps U.S. states adopt data-driven processes to make roadways safer.
Recently, the NHTSA launched its Click It or Ticket campaign. The campaign coincides with special enforcement measures to boost awareness concerning how seat belts save lives. The NHTSA released $740 million in funding for the Section 1906 Racial Profiling Data Collection Grants, 402 State and Community Grant Program, and the Section 405 National Priority Safety Program. States are urged to use this funding to implement these programs that focus on risky driving and other safety concerns amongst road users.
The traffic deaths in the following categories exhibited large increases in 2021, when compared to 2020:
- Bicyclist deaths grew by 5%.
- Speeding-related deaths increased by 5%.
- Fatal alcohol-related accidents increased by 5%.
- Motorcyclist deaths grew by 9%.
- Daytime deaths increased by 11%.
- Fatalities in accidents involving one or more large trucks grew by 13%.
- Pedestrian deaths grew by 13%.
- Deaths among drivers 65 and older grew by 14%.
- Deaths in multi-vehicle accidents increased by 16%.
- Deaths on urban roads increased by 16%.
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