NHTSA Projects Increase in Traffic Fatalities in First Quarter of 2021

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released fatality rates for the first 3 months of 2021, and the picture is not good. The statistics represent an increase in fatalities during the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period of time in 2020.

When it comes to highway deaths, there seems to be no end to the bad news. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted a total of 8,730 traffic accident fatalities during January, February and March 2021. This is an increase over the 7,900 fatalities that the agency projected for the first three months of 2020. This also means a 10.5% increase over the numbers last year.

That is a staggering increase, and the data presents a sobering picture for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which says that these fatality numbers are projected to have increased in spite of the fact that there was a decline in the number of vehicle miles travelled this quarter. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recorded significant increases in traffic fatality numbers across all of its regions. Georgia falls in Region 4 which recorded an 18% increase in the number of traffic fatalities recorded in the first quarter of 2021.

It seems that the increase in traffic accident fatalities that was recorded in 2020 has also continued in 2021. It is time that Georgia highway safety offices came out with strategies to reduce those accident numbers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has an information booklet called Countermeasures that Work: A Highway Safety Countermeasure Guide for State Highway Safety Offices, which is specifically aimed at helping state highway safety offices in this direction. This resource identifies and presents strategies for reducing accident and injury numbers across a variety of safety areas. These areas where improvements can be made include drunk driving, distracted driving, speed management, accidents involving older drivers, teen drivers, and drowsy drivers, motorcycle safety, and pedestrian safety.

The booklet does not include areas over which state highway safety officers have little to no authority like roadway or highway design, but most of the strategies in it can be implemented to keep our roads safer. The section on drunk driving, for instance, recommends that state highway safety offices conduct communications and outreach campaigns that make people aware of the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, focus on alcohol and drug treatment options, and enact and strongly enforce laws against drunk or other forms of driving while impaired.

A reduction in traffic accident fatality numbers is not an unreachable target. There have been several years over the past couple of decades in which numbers have dropped to absolute lows which signifies that it is definitely possible to reduce dangerous driving behaviors and keep our roads safe.

If you have been injured in a car accident, it is very important that you speak with an experience accident attorney to protect your rights and maximize your recovery.   You may qualify for compensation for your medical costs, lost income, diminished income earning ability and other types of damages through a car accident claim. 

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