By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. visitors deaths soared by 18.4% within the first six months of 2021 from the identical interval a 12 months earlier, for probably the most lethal first half on American roads since 2006, the Transportation Division mentioned on Thursday.
Site visitors deaths surged after coronavirus lockdowns led to 2020 as extra drivers engaged in unsafe habits like dashing, regulators mentioned.
It was the biggest six-month enhance ever recorded within the Fatality Evaluation Reporting System’s historical past, which has been in use since 1975, the company mentioned.
“This can be a disaster,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg mentioned in an announcement. “We can’t and mustn’t settle for these fatalities as merely part of on a regular basis life in America.”
The Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security (NHTSA) estimated 20,160 folks died automobile crashes within the first six months of 2021 in the US, up 3,140 over the identical interval in 2020.
NHTSA launched behavioral analysis findings from March 2020 by means of June 2021 “indicating that incidents of dashing and touring and not using a seatbelt stay larger than throughout pre-pandemic occasions.”
NHTSA mentioned within the second quarter of 2021 alone, visitors deaths rose by 23.1%, the best quarterly enhance ever. That was partly as a result of driving a 12 months earlier was down dramatically on account of COVID-19 lockdowns.
NHTSA famous that car miles traveled rose 13% within the first half of the 12 months however nonetheless, the fatality charge was the best on U.S. roads since 2006.
Site visitors deaths in three areas of the nation overlaying a lot of the Western and Higher United States have been up 25% or extra
NHTSA mentioned final 12 months that one issue within the massive leap in 2020 was that drivers who remained on roads after lockdowns engaged in riskier habits.
Some specialists mentioned that as U.S. roads turned much less crowded, some motorists engaged in additional unsafe habits, together with those that perceived police have been much less prone to subject tickets due to COVID-19.
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