Media report after media report has discussed the dangers of the roadways after the pandemic. Researchers and reporters reviewed the data, analyzing the reasons behind the spike in accidents and finding drivers took the roads traveling too fast and too often choosing to drive after drinking.
Unfortunately, the trend has continued. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released its projections for traffic related deaths last year. They are still reviewing data and gathering information, so the findings are not yet final. Although the agency notes that thus far it appears the country experienced a small decline of fatal crashes of less than 1% compared to last year, the numbers are still at record highs and leading officials state the country continues to face a “national crisis of traffic deaths.”
What are the numbers?
Thus far, the federal agency reports over 42,000 deaths from motor vehicle crashes in 2022.
What is the government doing about it?
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has released a plan to better ensure safer roads and laws that reduce the risk of these crashes. Federal programs also provide the funding needed for communities to take on projects to address high-risk areas like dangerous intersections notorious for crashes.
What can I do about it?
Individual drivers can take a proactive approach to reduce their risk of a dangerous accident. Steps that can increase your safety while on the road include:
- Regular maintenance. Make sure your vehicle is in good working order.
- Know before you go. Check directions and weather conditions to make sure you are prepared for the trip, whether a short drive to work or a longer road trip.
- Obey traffic laws. Avoid speeding and dangerous driving practices.
It is also helpful to try to drive during less busy hours whenever possible. If enough drivers take these steps we may be able to start to change the trend and reduce the rate of fatal traffic accidents in the future.