Report: US Vehicle Deaths Reach Estimated 46,000 in 2022
For a second consecutive year, preliminary estimates from the National Safety Council (NSC) indicate more than 46,000 people in the U.S. lost their lives in a preventable traffic crash, the organization announced.
Additionally, the mileage death rate in 2022 increased nearly 22% compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, the NSC said.
“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, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “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.”
A significant step towards modifying how America talks about roadway incidents occurred with the update in language from “accidents” to “crashes” in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the NSC said. Just a few months later, the National Roadway Safety Strategy was released by the U.S. Department of Transportation setting a goal of zero fatalities for U.S. roads.
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, the organization said.
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%) and Arizona (-10%).
Simultaneously, 10 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%) and Indiana (+14%).