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  • Report: 46,000 Americans Died In Preventable Crashes In 2022

    Report: 46,000 Americans Died In Preventable Crashes In 2022

    Preliminary estimates from the National Safety Council (NSC) reveal that traffic fatalities remain historically high and the NSC is urging action to address what it calls a "preventable national crisis."

    Traffic Deaths Top 46,000 For 2nd Consecutive Year 

    The NSC says for the second year in a row, more than 46,000 people were killed in traffic accidents that it says could have been prevented.   The nonprofit safety advocate organization is also sharing a staggering statistic: Compared to pre-pandemic 2019, researchers say the mileage death rate in 2022 increased nearly 22%, which the NSC says shows just how dangerous it is to use American roads.

    "From drivers and passengers to pedestrians and cyclists, road users of all ages are perishing in preventable crashes in the United States,” said Lorraine Martin, NSC president and CEO. “Words matter, and as a country, we need to learn and understand that there are no vehicle accidents. Each crash that occurs on America’s roads is entirely preventable and unacceptable. We must change the way we think about designing and moving around in our communities, understanding that people will make mistakes and the cost of those mistakes should not be serious injury or death.”

    The NSC says policymakers, employers and individuals must come together to put safety first on America's roads, starting with confronting public perception of this preventable national crisis. One big step it says is the recent update in language from “accidents” to “crashes” in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

    The NSC says just a few months later, the National Roadway Safety Strategy was released by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which, in a first for the federal government, set a goal of zero fatalities for U.S. roads. The strategy adopts the Safe System approach, which takes a holistic look at road safety. Recently, DOT announced the Safe Streets and Roads For All grant program. These grants, aimed at aiding regional, local and tribal communities, plan for and make necessary safety improvements, and the Road to Zero Coalition's community traffic safety grants give the country a clear path toward enacting a safer mobility system to combat roadway fatalities and put zero traffic deaths within reach for every community.

    States With Biggest Decrease in Traffic Deaths

    According to NSC preliminary data, eight states and the District of Columbia took a step towards zero in 2022, seeing a 10% or higher drop in traffic deaths according to the Council’s preliminary estimates:

    • Oklahoma (-25%)
    • Idaho (-19%)
    • Rhode Island (-17%)
    • District of Columbia (-15%)
    • West Virginia (-15%)
    • Montana (- 14%)
    • Minnesota (-12%)
    • South Dakota (-12%)
    • Arizona (-10%)

    States With Biggest Increase in Traffic Deaths

    Ten states experienced a rise in deaths of 14% or more last year:

    • Alaska (+27%)
    • Hawaii (+24%)
    • Wyoming (+20%)
    • Maine (+20%)
    • New Hampshire (+19%)
    • Delaware (+19%)
    • Connecticut (+17%)
    • Nebraska (+16%)
    • Washington (+14%)
    • Indiana (+14%)

    Preliminary Data

    Keep in mind, these are preliminary numbers and that motor vehicle fatality estimates can increase and decrease slightly as data matures. The NSC sources its data from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics so that deaths occurring within one year of the crash, both traffic and non-traffic crashes occurring on private roadways – such as parking lots and driveways – are included in the Council’s estimates.

    For more NSC data including the latest info for each state here.  

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