DETROIT ( Associated Press) – Nearly 43,000 people died in traffic accidents in the United States last year, the highest number in 16 years, as Americans returned to the streets after the pandemic forced many to stay at home. Went.
The 10.5% jump from 2020 was the largest percentage increase since the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began keeping those statistics in 1975.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the United States is facing a crisis on its highways. The administration urged state and local governments, drivers and safety advocates to join forces to reverse the rising trend in deaths.
Preliminary figures released by the administration on Tuesday showed that 42,915 people died in accidents last year, while in 2020 the number stood at 38,824. Final figures will be released in a few months.
Drivers drove 523 billion kilometers (325 billion miles) last year, up 11.5% from 2020, leading to an increase in accidents.
Last year, there were an average of 118 people per day in fatal crashes, according to NHTSA data. The Governors Highway Safety Association, an umbrella organization for state officials, blamed the increase in violations of safety limits, alcohol, drugs and distractions, as well as “roads designed for speed rather than safety”.
The agency reported that deaths in all types of accidents increased. The death rate increased by 16% in both cases in urban areas and in multiple accidents. Pedestrian deaths increased by 13% and drivers over the age of 65 by 14%.
Deaths involving at least one large truck increased by 13%, motorcycles by 9%, and cyclists by 5%. Speeding and alcohol-related deaths each increased by 5%.