The number of road fatalities remained steady during the pandemic, but the percentage of deaths due to roadway collisions was much higher because the number of vehicles on the roadway was considerably lower. For example, the percentage of fatalities was 4.9% in 2020 and 12.3% in 2021, but fewer miles were driven by motorists during those years. The high fatality rates were due to the increased speeds of reckless drivers on relatively empty roads.
Looking at 2022’s numbers
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released new projections on the number of traffic fatalities in 2022:
- Deaths down slightly: NHTSA estimates that 42,795 people died in 2022. This total is a .3% decrease from 2021, which was estimated at 42,939 deaths.
- More miles traveled: More vehicles were on the roadways in 2022, driving about 3,169.4 billion vehicle miles, which is 29.3 billion miles more than in 2021, or a .9% increase.
- Numbers decreased again: NHTSA’s fourth quarter projection is the third straight quarter in which the national numbers declined after seven consecutive quarters of increased fatalities.
- Connecticut totals: The state bucked the downward trend. There were 298 traffic fatalities in 2021 and 384 in 2022, for a 28.9% increase. That adds up to 0.92 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2021 and 1.18 in 2022.
More bad news
Connecticut’s significant jump in fatalities was not the only bad news. NHTSA Region 1 (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island) topped the 10-regions in the country with an 8% increase in traffic-related deaths. In Region 2 (Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania), deaths were up 1%.
These numbers are estimates since it takes a few years for the NHTSSA to calculate the final count. Those who have suffered from an injury or whose loved one has died in a traffic collision due to another’s negligence should contact a qualified and experienced attorney.