Traffic deaths in the US have risen by 10.5% in 2021 to 42,915 - the highest number of deaths on US roads in a single year since 2005, US authorities said in its preliminary estimate.
The annual increase is the highest reported since the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began using the current traffic death tracking system in 1975.
“We are facing a crisis on the roads of America, which we need to address together,” said US Transportation Secretary (USDOT) Pete Buttigieg.
In January, the USDOT launched a strategy to reduce the number of road deaths on US roads.
Traffic fatalities increased after coronavirus blockages ended in 2020, as more drivers behaved unsafely, such as speeding and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Traffic deaths in 2020 rose by 6.8%, up 18% from pre-pandemic 2019 levels.
Forty-four states in the United States and the District of Columbia are expected to see an increase in traffic deaths.
NHTSA said the mortality rate in 2021 fell slightly to 1.33 deaths per 100 million miles, from 1.34 million in 2020, which was the highest rate since 2007. A factor for the big increase in 2020 was the fact that drivers who remained on the roads engaged in more risky behavior, because some drivers perceived that the police are less likely to issue tickets because of COVID-19, experts say.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
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