New Data Shows Road Deaths are on the Rise

New Data Shows Road Deaths are on the Rise

According to new information from the U.S. Department of Transportation, road fatalities spiked in the first six months of 2021.

It's a data release that most are probably not surprised by. The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has published it's "Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities for the First Half of 2021," which shows the largest six-month increase ever recorded in the Fatality Analysis Report's System's history. 

According to the report, an estimated 20,160 people died in motor vehicle crashes between January and June of 2021, an 18.4 percent increase over 2020. This is also the largest number of projected fatalities in that time period since 2006.

“This is a crisis. More than 20,000 people died on U.S. roads in the first six months of 2021, leaving countless loved ones behind. We cannot and should not accept these fatalities as simply a part of everyday life in America,” said United States Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a press release.

As a result of the staggering statistics, the department has announced new safety initiatives aimed to decrease fatalities and increase driver safety.

"We are announcing that we will produce the Department’s first ever National Roadway Safety Strategy to identify action steps for everyone working to save lives on the road," Buttigieg said. "No one will accomplish this alone. It will take all levels of government, industries, advocates, engineers, and communities across the country working together toward the day when family members no longer have to say goodbye to loved ones because of a traffic crash.”

In a statement from the National Safety Council, the NSC said it was disappointed, though unsurprised, by the data released. The Council said, however, that it is hopeful after learning about the USDOT's plan to prepare a National Roadway Safety Strategy. 

“The increasing number of fatalities on our roads demands a national response,” said Mark Chung, roadway practice vice president, National Safety Council. “We have the power to reduce roadway deaths to zero, but it takes dedicated leadership and a comprehensive strategy.”

To learn more about the NSC's Road to Zero Coalition, visit www.nsc.org.

To read the entirety of USDOT's data release, visit https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/813199

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