Yet even as roads have grown more crowded, this trend has continued: 2020’s total 38,680 traffic deaths were 7.2% above 2019’s.
For the first nine months of 2021, road mileage driven wasn’t even 2% below 2019 levels. The 2020 reason for higher traffic deaths disappeared. People could no longer drive at 100 miles per hour because there was no one else around.
Yet traffic deaths were nearly 18% higher than two years before. The 12% increase between the first nine months of 2020 and 2021 was the highest hike in that period in recorded history, say federal regulators.
When 2021’s full numbers are in, they’ll likely exceed 42,400 traffic deaths — the worst total in 16 years. Traffic deaths are supposed to fall every year, as road design and cars grow safer (although bigger cars are bad for pedestrians).
Author(s): Nicole Gelinas
Publication Date: 6 Feb 2022
Publication Site: NY Post