WASHINGTON — U.S. traffic deaths declined for the first time since 2020 but remain at levels that call for “urgent and sustained action,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said last week.
From April to June, 10,590 people died in vehicle crashes on U.S. roads, down 4.9 percent from the same period in 2021, according to NHTSA estimates. The agency said it’s the first decline in fatalities after seven consecutive quarters of year-to-year increases since the third quarter of 2020.
Still, early projections show roadway deaths increased in the first six months of 2022. Through June, an estimated 20,175 people died in crashes, up 0.5 percent from the first half of 2021.
“Although it is heartening to see a projected decline in roadway deaths in recent months, the number of people dying on roads in this country remains a crisis,” said Ann Carlson, NHTSA’s acting administrator.