• Preliminary data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that 42,915 people died in the United States last year, the highest figure in 16 years.
  • The total number includes pedestrians hit by vehicles and cyclists.
  • The largest increase occurred in rural interstate, and urban arteries city ​​collector / place streets.

    Data on road deaths looked pretty good ten years ago. While “zero” is the only acceptable number if National Road Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that in the 2011 calendar year the death toll fell to 32,367, from 32,885 in 2010 (37,261 in 2008, the year of high gas prices and the start of the Great Recession), and growing research into autonomous technology cars have forced us to believe that we can reach zero by the end of the 2020s.

    But six years later in the 1930s the number of NHTSA jumped to 35,092 in the 15th, then to 37,461 in the 16th.

    Preliminary figures NHTSA released this week reported that there were 42,915 deaths in the U.S. last year, up 10.5 percent from 38,824 in 2020 – the highest in 16 years.

    By the way, this figure in 2020 increased by 7.5 percent compared to 2019. These mortality rates are absolute, whether we drive more miles a year or less than during the Great Recession and again for at least a year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.

    NHTSA is disassembling this. The number of deaths per 100 million miles was higher in 2021 than in 2020 – when many of us did not even leave home and world oil prices briefly fell below $ 0 per barrel – although the death rate per 100 million miles was lower than the second, third and fourth quarters of 2021 compared to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters of 2020.

    Deaths of motorcyclists increased by 9 percent and deaths from pedestrians – by 13 percent. Mortality of teachers has increased by 5 percent.

    Phynart StudioGetty Images

    These 43,000 dead are not all drivers and / or passengers, of course; the total number includes pedestrians hit by vehicles and cyclists – both motorcyclists and “pedalcyclists,” as NHTSA calls them – who collide with cars and trucks. NHTSA also shows the types of accidents, as well as the time and place of deaths (albeit without smartphone-related accidents).

    Using a 10.5 percent increase over the 21st year as a mark for the lower mark, the number of speeding deaths increased by only 5 percent, meaning they accounted for less of the total death toll, although NHTSA adds that both of these figures are “even higher compared to pre-pandemic 2019 levels”.

    All these types of deaths were higher than the overall growth by 10.5 percent: rural interstate – +15 percent; urban arteries, +15 percent; city ​​collector / local, +20 percent.

    The death toll from unfastened cars has risen by 3 per cent and the amount of alcohol reported by police has risen by 5 per cent, but, again, both are higher than in 2019.

    Deaths of motorcyclists increased by 9 percent and deaths from pedestrians – by 13 percent.

    Mortality of teachers has increased by 5 percent. The result of millions of local, state and federal dollars spent on city bike lanes? Maybe, but these bike lanes would be just the beginning.

    fhwa complete street strategy

    In a report to Congress last March, the Federal Highway Administration outlined it Complete street strategy. He appealed to the House Appropriations Committee, which was concerned about the “recent increase in the number of cyclists and pedestrians killed” and encouraged the adoption of a full street design model in which roads and streets are designed and operated to ensure safe access for all but limited to pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities ”.

    It’s not excessive Washington bureaucrats trying to kill a car, but it could be another sign of a “peak car”.

    Even before the pandemic, many city planners began replacing highways and city highways built since the 1950s (and many had previously divided neighborhoods of poor minorities) into pedestrian areas. For the first time, at least since World War II, personal passenger transport is not a priority for urban planning.

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