aerial view of cars on eight-lane road

More Than 46,000 People May Have Died from Vehicle Crashes in 2022, NSC Preliminary Estimate Shows

The estimate is only down slightly from the actual number of lives lost in 2021.

Millions of people drive on the roads every single day, including those who drive as part of their job. New estimates show that deaths from motor vehicle crashes may be down in 2022, but only slightly.

The National Safety Council’s (NSC) preliminary estimate of 46,270 deaths in 2022 is two percent lower than the 46,980 deaths in 2021, per the data. It’s the second year in a row that NSC’s estimates have exceeded 46,000 deaths.

"From drivers and passengers to pedestrians and cyclists, road users of all ages are perishing in preventable crashes in the United States,” said Lorraine Martin, NSC president and CEO in a news release.

Nineteen states saw an increase in deaths in 2022 compared to 2021, with four of those going beyond 20 percent: Alaska (81 deaths in 2022 versus 64 in 2021), Hawaii (117 versus 94), Maine (177 versus 147) and Wyoming (134 versus 112), per the data.

Oklahoma saw the largest improvement in terms of percentage, going from 735 deaths in 2021 to 554 deaths in 2022, a 25 percent decrease. Idaho, Rhode Island, Washington D.C. and West Virginia also saw a decrease in the number of deaths. The percent changes for these states and the district were between 15 and 20 percent.

“Words matter, and as a country, we need to learn and understand that there are no vehicle accidents. Each crash that occurs on America’s roads is entirely preventable and unacceptable. We must change the way we think about designing and moving around in our communities, understanding that people will make mistakes and the cost of those mistakes should not be serious injury or death,” Martin continued.

To learn more about staying safe on the road, visit

About the Author

Alex Saurman is the Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety.

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