How Many People Died In Car Crashes A Year – Crime and the Law Nearly 43,000 people died on US roads last year, the highest number in 16 years.
The scene of a fatal traffic accident on June 2, 2021 in Tulsa, Okla. (Tanner Laws/Tulsa World via AP, file)
How Many People Died In Car Crashes A Year
DETROIT (AP) – Nearly 43,000 people died on U.S. roads last year, the most in 16 years as Americans returned to the highways after the pandemic forced many to stay home.
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The 10.5% jump to 2020 was the largest percentage increase since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began a fatality data collection system in 1975.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said America is facing a crisis on its roads. The safety administration called on state and local governments, drivers and safety advocates to join efforts to reverse the rising death trend.
Preliminary figures published by the agency on Tuesday showed that 42,915 people died in traffic accidents last year, compared to 38,824 in 2020. Final data will be published in the fall.
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Americans traveled nearly 325 billion miles last year, 11.2% more than in 2020, contributing to the increase.
About 118 people died in traffic accidents in the U.S. every day last year, according to the agency. The Governors Highway Safety Association, a group of state traffic safety officials, blamed the increase on dangerous behaviors such as speeding, drugged driving and distracted driving, as well as “roads designed for speed rather than safety.”
This combination, “wiped out a decade and a half of progress in reducing traffic accidents, injuries and deaths.”
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According to the NHTSA report, the number of fatalities in almost all types of crashes increased last year. Deaths in urban areas and deaths in multi-vehicle crashes increased by 16%. Pedestrian deaths increased by 13%, while deaths among drivers over 65 increased by 14%.
At least one large truck fatality increased by 13%, while motorcycle fatalities increased by 9% and bicyclist fatalities by 5%. Deaths from speeding drivers and alcohol-related accidents have increased by 5%.
Government estimates show that the number of road deaths decreased slightly compared to 2020. Last year there were 1.34 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles, compared to 1.34 in 2020. Fatalities rose last year in the first quarter of 2015, but declined for the rest of the year, NHTSA said.
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In 2019, the number of traffic deaths started to increase. NHTSA has blamed reckless driving during the pandemic, citing behavioral research that shows speeding and traveling without seat belts. Prior to 2019, the number of deaths had declined for three consecutive years.
NHTSA Deputy Administrator Steven Cliff, the Biden administration’s nominee to lead the agency, said the highway crisis was immediate and preventable. “We’re going to redouble our safety efforts, and we need everyone — state and local governments, safety advocates, automakers and drivers,” Cliff said in a statement. “All our lives depend on it.”
Buttigieg pointed to a national strategy unveiled earlier this year that aims to reverse the trend. He previously said that over the next two years, his department will provide billions in grants under federal guidelines as well as President Joe Biden’s new infrastructure law to encourage states and localities to lower speed limits and adopt safer road designs such as dedicated bike and bus lanes. , better lighting and pedestrian crossings. The strategy also encourages the use of speed cameras, which the ministry says can provide better enforcement than police traffic stops.
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In a statement Tuesday, the department said it has opened the first round of applications for the program, which will spend $6 billion over five years on local efforts to reduce accidents and deaths.
The Department of Transportation is moving in the right direction to curb the increase in crashes, but many steps will take years to complete, said Michael Brooks, acting executive director of the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety.
NHTSA, for example, has pending regulations to require electronic automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection systems on all new light-duty vehicles and to require automatic emergency braking on heavy-duty trucks, he said. Automatic emergency braking can slow or stop the vehicle if there is an object in its path.
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The agency requires automakers to install systems that warn rear-seat passengers if their seat belts are not fastened.
“That’s a tough question to answer,” Brooks said. “A lot of work needs to be done on various policies to address these issues. They have a lot of work ahead of them.”
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Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a six-vehicle crash involving a FedEx truck on Jan. 5 at the corner of Bloomfield Avenue and South Street in Cerritos.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Thursday announced plans to push for road redesign, lower speeds and more safety features for vehicles, promising to reduce the number of deaths across the country just weeks after Los Angeles closed in on a sharp increase in fatal collisions. Car focus on city traffic jam.
The plan, called the National Highway Safety Strategy, will be funded by the Biden administration’s $1 trillion infrastructure bill, with the elusive goal of “no deaths on the road.” It calls for a “safe systems approach” that acknowledges human error and physical frailty and designs a transportation system that minimizes the likelihood of death or serious injury in the event of an accident.
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New federal data to be released next week will show that the death toll has increased nationwide, Buttigieg said in an interview with The Associated Press before the plan was announced.
“It doesn’t look good, and I’m still very concerned about the trend,” Buttigieg said. “It’s become normal over the years and decades, kind of the cost of doing business. Even though the pandemic is causing significantly less driving, we still see more dangers on our roads.”
294 people died in traffic collisions in Los Angeles in 2021, city officials said Thursday, a 24 percent increase from the previous year. The number of cyclist and pedestrian deaths last year also increased compared to 2020.
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L.A. officials say data from 2021 shows drivers are distracted by cellphones, speeding and reckless driving. Officials also point to trends in car design that make cars heavier and more dangerous.
“For generations in this country, we have prioritized cars, speed and capacity on our streets over people,” L.A. Department of Transportation Director General Seletta Reynolds said Thursday. Today, federal transportation leaders signaled a massive culture change that puts safety first, with a clear strategy that includes funding, actions and timelines.
Reynolds called the plan “a huge win for cities like L.A., where we’ve been implementing a safety-first approach for years…With resources and central government focus, we have a much better chance of dealing with this surge. Many families in our city and across the country and Communities devastated by traffic violence.”
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L.A. The number of total traffic deaths in the city remained the same or fell slightly from pre-pandemic years, disappointing activists who want to see more progress in the city’s program to end traffic deaths by 2025.
That program, Vision Zero, was started by Mayor Eric Garcetti, but needs more funding and attention from city leaders to be effective, transportation activists say.
Michael Schneider, founder of Los Angeles-based advocacy group Streets for All, said he was encouraged by Buttigieg’s focus on making streets safer for all types of traffic.
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“It’s refreshing to see the Secretary of Transportation recognize that the purpose of roads isn’t just to go as fast as possible,” Schneider said.
The 42-page plan acknowledges the disproportionate pain caused by traffic deaths. Death rates are twice as high in rural areas as in US cities, it said. The country’s poorest counties have a higher death rate from road accidents than the country as a whole.
“Black deaths increased by 23 percent between 2019 and 2020, for an overall increase of 7.2 percent,” the report said. “The road death rate of American Indians and Alaska Natives is twice the national rate per population.”
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Over the past decade, pedestrian and cyclist deaths have increased faster than road deaths overall, which has had a “chilling effect” on climate-friendly human-powered transportation modes.
To counter this alarming trend, the safe systems approach focuses on five elements: safe people, safe roads, safe vehicles, safe speeds and what is called post-accident care.
The plan would focus on developing tools to more accurately measure drug and alcohol impairment and require state driver licensing agencies to “take licensing action against unlicensed commercial drivers who have drug or alcohol violations in the system and return to duty.”
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It would encourage local governments to plan and build safer streets, an effort paid for by federal funds. This will encourage car manufacturers to include collision avoidance features such as
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