WASHINGTON D.C.: According to an early estimate released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in the first half of 2022, U.S. traffic deaths rose to 20,175, a 0.5 percent increase and the highest number killed on the nation's roads since 2006.
As more drivers believed police were less likely to issue tickets, while others drove recklessly after the end of COVID-19 lockdowns, traffic deaths increased.
However, this week officials said traffic deaths dropped by 4.9 percent in the second quarter of 2022, the first decline after seven consecutive quarters of year-over-year increases in fatalities, but still higher than pre-pandemic levels.
"Despite the second quarter decline, the number of people dying on roads in this country remains a crisis," said Ann Carlson, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration general counsel.
In a statement issued this week, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the U.S. needs safer drivers, vehicles, roads and speed limits, adding, "These deaths are preventable,not inevitable, and we should act accordingly."