NHTSA: Slight Decrease in 2022 Traffic Deaths

According to statistics compiled and released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of traffic deaths had a slight decrease in 2022 after two years of dramatic increases. Based on data from the first nine months of the year, approximately 31,785 people died in traffic crashes. This is a 0.2 percent decrease as compared to the 31,850 estimated fatalities during the same time in 2021. While fatalities overall declined, fatalities amongst cyclists and pedestrians continued to rise.

When the NHTSA compared the number of deaths during the same time frame in 2021, the numbers showed decreases in the following:

  • A 10 percent decrease in children younger than 16
  • A 10 percent decrease on urban connector and local roads
  • A 9 percent decrease in vehicle rollover crashes
  • An 8 percent decrease in people ages 16 to 24
  • A 7 percent decrease in passengers ejected from vehicles
  • A 7 percent decrease in people not wearing seatbelts
  • A 2 percent decrease in speed-related crashes

The data did show increases in 2022 over 2021 in the following:

  • A 12 percent increase on rural interstates
  • A 10 percent increase in crashes involving large trucks
  • An 8 percent increase in crashes involving cyclists
  • A 5 percent increase in crashes involving motorcycles
  • A 2 percent increase in crashes involving pedestrians

Other Research

Studies show that one of the factors for these high numbers has to do with the type of vehicles American drivers are purchasing. The sales of large SUVs and light trucks continue to increase each year as a way to keep themselves safe while they are on the road, but these larger vehicles have more blind spots, as well as a heavier impact for pedestrians and bicyclists when they are hit. SUVs and light trucks are more prone than cars to run over pedestrians instead of throwing them over the hood as smaller vehicles do.

Another factor is the alarming increase in the number of distracted driving accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that driver distraction is the cause of almost 40 percent of car accidents that occur every day. About 10 percent of all fatal accidents in the U.S. are caused by distracted driving on the part of a driver. Electronic devices are the biggest culprit, with cell phones, GPS, and even smartwatches all pulling a driver’s attention from the road in front of them.

Let a Virginia Injury Attorney Help

If you have been injured in a crash caused by a driver who was texting and driving or some other distracted driving behavior, contact a Virginia car accident attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have. The legal team from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp has been advocating for injured clients since 1985 and will do all we can to ensure you receive the best possible outcome under the circumstances of your case. If you would like to meet with one of our skilled Virginia car accident attorneys to find out how we can help, call our office today to schedule a free case evaluation.