Deaths on U.S. roads fell slightly after record pandemic surge

Traffic Safety Pulse News

View from inside car, looking out towards mountainous landscape

(Washington Post) — After soaring since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, traffic deaths declined slightly in the first nine months of 2022, according to federal data released Monday.

Nearly 31,800 people were killed in crashes from January through September, according to NHTSA, a 0.2% decrease from the same period a year earlier. The slight decline offered hope after record increases in the number of people killed on roads since 2020.

The death rate on the nation’s roads, however, remains high amid a surge in speeding, aggressive driving and other reckless behaviors that have caused more lethal crashes in recent years, federal officials say. When compared to the previous year, traffic fatalities jumped by 7% in 2020 and 10.5% in 2021, hitting a 20-year high.

Still, officials say the decline of 65 deaths in the first three quarters of 2022, compared to 2021, signals the surge is finally leveling off. Read more about the downward trend here