US traffic deaths rose 7% in the first quarter of 2022 to 9,560, according to data from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This is the highest number of victims in one quarter since 2002, according to the same source. Compared to the corresponding quarter of 2020, this is an increase of 21%.
NHTSA notes that traffic fatalities have increased significantly since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2021, US traffic deaths totaled 42,915 (+10.5%), the most in one year since 2005.
A noteworthy statistic is also that in 2021 the number of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents in the USA increased by 13%. According to NHTSA data, they totaled 7,342, the most since 2005.
With traffic on American roads reduced during the Covid-19 pandemic, some drivers felt the police would not be handing out calls as often. Which, according to experts, made drivers more reckless. NHTSA research showed that speeding and not wearing seat belts were more frequent than before the pandemic.