The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released new estimates for U.S. roadway fatalities during the 2022 calendar year. According to the latest NHTSA estimates, roadway fatalities in the U.S. declined slightly during the 2022 calendar year as compared to 2021. In addition, Americans drove more miles on average during 2022 than in 2021.
According to the latest NHTSA estimates, 42,795 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes during the 2022 calendar year. That figure represents a small 0.3 percent decrease in road deaths compared to the 42,939 fatalities recorded for the 2021 calendar year. In addition, Americans drove more on average in 2022 than in 2021, with a 1-percent increase in total miles traveled for the year. The NHTSA also estimates that roadway fatalities declined during Q4 of 2022, the third straight quarterly decline in road deaths after a consecutive seven quarters of fatality increases since Q3 of 2020.
The estimated fatality rate for 2022 was down to 1.35 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, as compared to 1.37 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled during 2021. A total of 27 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico are estimated to have experienced a decrease in traffic fatalities in 2022 as compared to 2021, while 23 states are projected to have experienced an increase in traffic fatalities during the same time period.
“We continue to face a national crisis of traffic deaths on our roadways, and everyone has a role to play in reversing the rise that we experienced in recent years,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Through our National Roadway Safety Strategy, we’re strengthening traffic safety across the country, and working toward a day when these preventable tragedies are a thing of the past.”
A recent NHTSA analysis indicates that roadway fatalities increased by as much as 10.5 percent during 2021 as compared to the 2020 calendar year, the largest such increase in almost 50 years. The increase is linked to more incidences of speeding, distracted driving, and impairment due to alcohol consumption.