The variety of U.S. visitors deaths within the first six months of 2021 hit 20,160, the best first-half complete since 2006, the federal government reported Thursday, an indication of rising reckless driving in the course of the coronavirus pandemic.
The estimated quantity was 18.4% larger than the primary half of final yr, prompting Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to name the rise an unacceptable disaster.
That proportion improve was the most important six-month improve because the division started recording deadly crash information since 1975.
The division, which incorporates the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration, introduced that it’s going to develop a nationwide technique for steps to save lots of lives on the roads.
“”We can not and mustn’t settle for these fatalities as merely part of on a regular basis life in America,” Buttigieg mentioned in a press release Thursday. “Nobody will accomplish this alone. It is going to take all ranges of presidency, industries, advocates, engineers and communities throughout the nation working collectively towards the day when members of the family now not need to say goodbye to family members due to a visitors crash.”
NHTSA additionally mentioned that behavioral analysis from March via June confirmed that dashing and touring with out a seat belt stay larger than earlier than the coronavirus pandemic. The company has pointed to rising street deaths, a development for the final two years, on extra reckless habits on the roads.
Client teams have been urging the company to maneuver extra shortly to spice up street security, pointing to rising accidents and a yearslong backlog in implementing security guidelines. An Related Press assessment earlier this month of rule-making by NHTSA discovered not less than 13 auto-security guidelines late, together with a rear seat belt reminder requirement handed by Congress in 2012 that was to be carried out by 2015.
“This public security disaster requires decisive motion by the U.S. Division of Transportation, the place progress on necessities and efficiency requirements for lifesaving automobile security know-how has been overdue for a lot too lengthy,” mentioned Cathy Chase, president of Advocates for Freeway and Auto Security, in a press release Thursday. “Motorists and street customers are being killed needlessly whereas confirmed options are deferred, delayed or dormant.”
The most recent spike in fatalities got here as individuals drove extra as pandemic shutdowns eased. Preliminary information from the Federal Freeway Administration present that automobile miles traveled within the first six months of the yr rose by 173.1 billion miles, round a 13% improve from final yr.
The loss of life price for the primary half of this yr rose to 1.34 per 100 million automobile miles traveled. It is up from 1.28 deaths per 100 million miles within the first half of 2020, the company mentioned.
NHTSA Deputy Administrator Steven Cliff, urged drivers to decelerate, put on seat belts, drive sober and keep away from distractions. President Joe Biden final week nominated Cliff, a former California environmental regulator, to run the company full-time.
“All of us should work collectively to cease aggressive, harmful driving,” Cliff mentioned.
The Transportation Division mentioned its technique would comply with a “protected system strategy” to street security that identifies security motion for drivers, roads, autos, speeds and post-crash medical care. The technique might be launched in January, the division mentioned. It additionally has pointed to plans to begin transferring on a few of the proposed security rules, though the company has typically missed previous deadlines, even these promised in federal courtroom.
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US cites ‘disaster’ as street deaths rise 18% in first-half 2021 (2021, October 29)
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