The agency recorded 9,560 deaths related to traffic incidents in the first quarter of 2022
This is a seven percent increase over the first quarter of last year
The state with the most fatalities is Texas, with 1,071 deaths
For a number of years, traffic deaths have been increasing in the United States and 2022 seems like it won’t be an exception.
According to the NHTSA, 9,560 people lost their lives in traffic accidents in the country during the first three months of the year alone, which represents a 7% increase over the same period in 2021.
Even more telling is that the last year where more people died in the first quarter of the year was 2002.
Obviously, vehicles have become much safer in the last twenty years, which means that accidents are now more frequent and more violent than ever in order to create the same number of fatalities.
Q1 2022 marked the seventh consecutive quarter where the number of fatalities increased and the second quarter of 2021 alone showed 21,8% more deaths than a year earlier, which is the highest jump ever recorded by the NHTSA.
These higher numbers can be explained in part by an increase in miles driven by Americans during the first three months of the year, which was 5,6% higher than in Q1 2021.
Even then, deaths per 100 million miles driven have also increased, standing at 1.27 instead of 1.25.
The state with the highest number of traffic deaths is Texas with 1,071 (an increase of 5,6%) followed by Florida at 998 (an increase of 1%) and California with 944, which is actually a decrease of 7,3%.
The largest increase by State is found in Delaware, which saw a 163% increase to 50 traffic fatalities while the largest decrease is posted by Rhode Island with 50% fewer deaths for a total of only 7.
According to the NHTSA, these numbers confirm a tendency it has observed over the last few years for more drivers to engage in dangerous behaviour out on the roads, such as distracted driving or driving under the influence.