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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

US Road Fatalities Decrease by 3.6% in 2023, Yet Remain Higher than Pre-Pandemic Figures

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WASHINGTON ⁣— According to the auto safety‌ regulators, there ‌was⁢ a 3.6% decrease in U.S.‍ traffic​ fatalities ⁣in 2023, marking the second consecutive year of ⁣decline. However, the ⁤numbers remain alarmingly higher ⁣than those recorded before the pandemic.

The National Highway Traffic‌ Safety ‍Administration (NHTSA) reported an ‍estimated 40,990 traffic-related ​deaths in 2023, a​ drop from 42,514 ‌fatalities⁢ in 2022. Despite this decrease, the figure is still significantly higher than the 36,355 deaths‌ recorded in 2019, a year that marked the third consecutive annual decline⁣ in traffic deaths.

The fatality⁤ rate in 2023 surpassed any pre-pandemic year since 2008. Interestingly, the total miles driven ⁢in 2023 exceeded pre-pandemic levels for the first time.

Experts suggest that the perceived ⁤decrease in ‌traffic policing during the COVID-19 pandemic may have led ⁢to riskier driving behaviors. As roads became⁤ less congested, some drivers may have felt less likely to receive traffic citations, leading to an increase​ in reckless driving.

In 2021, U.S. traffic fatalities ⁢saw a shocking 10.5% increase, reaching 42,915 – the highest number of deaths on American⁣ roads in a single ​year since 2005.

The NHTSA also reported a slight increase ⁤in pedestrian fatalities in 2022, with a 0.7% ⁤rise ‌to 7,522 – the highest number since 1981. Cyclist deaths also saw a significant ​increase, ‍with a 13% rise to ​1,105‌ in 2022,⁢ the highest number ⁢recorded since at least 1980.

Furthermore, the NHTSA reported a 4.7% increase in fatal traffic accidents involving drivers aged 65 or older in 2022, reaching 7,870. This⁢ is​ the‍ highest number of fatalities involving older drivers since the⁤ agency⁢ started keeping ‍records in 1975.

Despite a decrease in​ road users during the pandemic, incidents of‌ speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol ⁤or drugs, and not wearing seat belts increased.

Last year, the agency’s​ acting administrator ​told Reuters that the increase in traffic deaths could ⁢be attributed to the‍ near-empty roads during ⁢the pandemic, which may have⁣ led to increased speeding and other dangerous driving ‌behaviors.

The NHTSA emphasized that impaired driving⁤ due to‌ alcohol⁣ and drugs remains a significant issue. A stubborn 10% of drivers still refuse to wear seat belts. ⁤To combat this, the safety administration ‍has ⁤proposed the requirement of rear seat ⁣belt reminders in ⁢future vehicles.

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Truth Media Network
Truth Media Network
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