US traffic deaths in first half of 2022 hit 16-year high

WASHINGTON: Traffic deaths in the US rose 0.5% in the first half of 2022 to 20,175, the highest number of deaths for the period since 2006, according to initial estimates released by US regulators.
Traffic deaths have increased after the stopover pandemic ended as more motorists engage in unsafe behaviours. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said on Monday for the second quarter, traffic deaths fell 4.9%, the first decline in deaths after seven consecutive quarters of year-over-year increases but still essentially higher than pre-pandemic levels.
As U.S. roads become less crowded during the pandemic, some motorists say the police are less likely to issue tickets, which could lead to traffic jams, experts say. more dangerous on the road.
NHTSA research shows that the number of speeding and not wearing seat belts is higher than it was before the pandemic.
In 2021, the number of pedestrian deaths rose 13% to 7,342, the most since 1981. The number of cyclists killed rose 5% to 985, the most since 1980, NHTSA said.
NHTSA lost its administrator earlier this month after Steve Cliff assumed a senior position on the California Air Resources Board, and the agency is being run on an action basis by general counsel Ann Carlson, who said know despite the second quarter drop “the death toll on the roads in this country is still a crisis.”
Safety advocacy groups have urged the administration to move quickly to fill the top NHTSA job, which has never been appointed under a President. Donald Trump.
Minister of Transport Pete Buttigieg told reporters last week the administration was “actively working” to select a nominee for the NHTSA top job position.
Buttigieg said the US needs safer drivers, vehicles, roads and speeds.
“These deaths are preventable, not inevitable, and we should act accordingly,” Buttigieg said Monday in a statement.

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