At 20,175, US traffic deaths in first half of 2022 highest since 2006: NHTSA data


The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data on traffic fatalities for the first half of 2022 shows that an estimated 20,175 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes, an increase of about 0.5% as compared to 20,070 fatalities, and the highest since 2006.

However, NHTSA projects that the second quarter of 2022, from April to June, had the first decline in fatalities after seven consecutive quarters of year-to-year increases in fatalities that began in the third quarter of 2020.

“Traffic deaths appear to be declining for the first time since 2020, but they are still at high levels that call for urgent and sustained action. These deaths are preventable, not inevitable, and we should act accordingly,” said US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Safety is our guiding mission at the Department of Transportation, and we will redouble our efforts to reduce the tragic number of deaths on our nation’s roads.”

In January, Buttigieg unveiled the National Roadway Safety Strategy to outline the department’s approach to significantly reducing serious injuries and deaths on highways, roads and streets. In a press release, the department said that President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides unprecedented funding for safety to achieve the Department’s ambitious, long-term goal of reaching zero roadway fatalities.

“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. “Now is the time for all stakeholders, including states, local transportation entities, industry, non-profits and others, to leverage the significant funding and tools provided under the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and join with USDOT in implementing the National Roadway Safety Strategy’s safe system approach, so we can turn the tide on years of increasing deaths.”