According to a new preliminary estimate of traffic accidents in 2021, the NHTSA says we have reached a new high of 16 years. An estimated 43,000 people lost their lives in traffic accidents last year, recording a significant increase of 10.5. Percentage compared to 2020. According to the data, almost every subset of driver and crash types has increased year after year but this is not the whole story.
The number of accidents increased by about 17 percent due to high speeds in last year’s report. This year, it has grown a further 5-percent, but many other sectors have seen double-digit growth by 2021. A notable example was an accident on an urban road that increased the death toll by 16-percent year after year.
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The death toll involving at least one large truck has risen 13-percent and the death toll in multi-vehicle accidents has risen 16-percent. Dr Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s deputy administrator, said: “We will redouble our security efforts, and we all need – state and local governments, security lawyers, automakers and drivers – to join us. All our lives depend on it. “
Texas, California and Florida have the highest number of deaths
According to NHTSA data from 2021, Texas recorded the highest number of traffic-related deaths at 4,573, an increase of 18% in 2020, followed by California at 4,258 deaths (+ 10.7%) and Florida at 3,753 (+ 12.7%). The largest percentage change recorded was 286 deaths in Idaho (+ 33.6%).
All this data sounds pretty fair but there is at least a small part of the report that can provide some real hope. In 2021, it is estimated that the total vehicle mile travel is about 325 billion miles more than in 2020. This is an 11.2-percent increase in total mileage. Guess what that means …
That’s the factor when the total mileage is driven, death actually dropped .01-percent down. In 2020, there will be an average of 1.34 fatalities across 100 million miles. In 2021, this number dropped to 1.33. So, yes, there are significantly more road deaths in 2021 than in 2020, but that trend is directly related to distance traveled. Apparently, drivers have been driving the same risk since 2020 but driving more.
This is not to say that improvements cannot be made. Drivers across the country will do well for risky behavior, driving under the influence and driving while asleep. They would also benefit from taking enough care about driving that they tried to get better at it as opposed to seeing it as some heinous act like many.
Infrastructure and law enforcement can also improve. But the jump we saw in 2021 is not just a direct result of driving under speed or influence because some outlets will trust you.