The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released important traffic data for the first half of 2022. The data set involves preliminary estimates of traffic fatalities, which show an interesting trend, especially during the last months of the year.
According to preliminary traffic fatality estimates for the first half of 2022, an estimated 20,175 people die in motor vehicle traffic accidents. This represents an increase of about 0.5 percent compared to the 20,070 deaths the agency estimates for the same period in 2021.
However, NHTSA noted that the second quarter of 2022, from April to June, reflected a decline in traffic fatalities. This is the first time this has happened after seven consecutive quarters of year-on-year increases in deaths starting in the third quarter of 2020.
“Traffic deaths appear to be declining for the first time since 2020, but they are still at a high level that calls for immediate and sustained action. These deaths are preventable, not unavoidable, and we must act accordingly,” said US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Safety is our guiding mission at the Department of Transportation, and we will redouble our efforts to reduce the number of tragic deaths on our country’s roads.”
It is important to note that NHTSA data goes hand in hand with USDOT Federal Highway Administration data. This represents a 2.8 percent increase in vehicle mileage in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period last year. The data also shows that the death rate for the first half of 2022 fell to 1.27 deaths per 100 million VMT – down from 1.30 deaths per 100 million VMT in the first half of 2021.
NHTSA also noted that the National Road Safety Strategy was introduced in January this year, which outlines a comprehensive approach to significantly reduce serious injuries and deaths on roads, highways and highways. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Act also provides additional funding for safety to achieve the long-term goal of achieving zero road fatalities.