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NHTSA Calls Increase in Traffic Fatalities a Crisis

Highest Number of Traffic Deaths Since 2006

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which operates under the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), just released its early estimate of traffic fatalities for the period of January through June of 2021. The numbers reveal the biggest six-month increase that has ever been recorded in the history of the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). The estimate of those who died on U.S. roads during that time is 20,160, the largest number of projected deaths in that same time frame since 2006. It represents an 18% increase from the same six-month period in 2020. 

An Unacceptable Crisis

The U.S. Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg, calls these numbers a crisis that should not be accepted as part of everyday life in our country. He announced the creation of a multi-faceted National Roadway Safety Strategy to address the issue. 

Results of Driver Behavior Research Also Released

Along with the data on traffic fatalities, the NHTSA also released findings from behavioral research from March through June 2021. The findings indicated that incidents of traveling without seatbelts and speeding continue to be higher than prior to the pandemic. By slowing down and buckling up, motorists and passengers can do their part to bring the number of traffic fatalities down. 

The National Roadway Safety Strategy

The new program, which is set to be released in January 2022,  will include a comprehensive set of actions. It will require assistance from a number of different agencies with the goal of significantly reducing major injuries and fatalities on our nation’s roads. The DOT will play a leadership role but will emphasize the importance of action on the part of government agencies at all levels, as well as communities and the private sector in order to reverse the worrying trend. 

The strategy will have roots in the Safe System Approach. This multi-faceted plan will identify actions the DOT will take to help ensure: 

  • Safer people
  • Safer vehicles
  • Safer roads
  • Safer speeds
  • Post-crash action

The focus of the strategy will be on priorities that target the most urgent and significant problems because doing so should have the most substantial impact. 

In the Meantime – Immediate Action

Though the National Roadway Safety Strategy will not be released for a few months, other actions are being taken. The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) has accelerated programs that have been proven to positively impact highway safety issues. These Proven Safety Countermeasures include underutilized elements of road design that, when implemented, have proven to make roadways safer for everyone. Federal funding will be provided to certain regions that have demonstrated safety concerns. The countermeasures include but are not limited to:

  • Crosswalk enhancements for increased visibility
  • Lighting improvements
  • Rapid flashing beacons
  • Designated bicycle lanes
  • Pavement friction management
  • Widened edge lines
  • Speed limit setting
  • Variable speed limits
  • Speed cameras

Watch the YouTube video. The clip below reports on the new information released by the NHTSA.

Sacramento Truck Accident Lawyer

Hello, and thank you for reading. I’m Ed Smith, and I am a Sacramento truck accident lawyer. The latest statistics on fatal accidents are disturbing. We can assume that a number of these wrongful deaths are the result of truck accidents. When a smaller vehicle is involved in a crash with a large truck, the occupants of the smaller vehicle are at risk for severe, even fatal injuries. If you or a loved one has been harmed in a car or truck accident due to the negligent actions of another driver, the experienced injury attorneys at our firm are here to help. We are happy to offer free and friendly legal advice, just call us at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. If you prefer to send your inquiry electronically, please use our online form.

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Photo Attribution: by Alexander Popov via Unsplash

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