According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, road deaths in the United States have reached a 16-year high

According to data released Tuesday by the Department of Transportation, about 42,915 people died in road accidents in the United States in 2021, the highest number of road deaths since 2005.

This is a 10.5% increase from 2020, when 38,824 fatalities were reported, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It’s also an 18% increase from 2019, the last pre-pandemic year, when there were 36,355 road deaths.

In Illinois, there were 1,357 road deaths in 2021, an increase of 13.7% from 2020. In Michigan, there were 1,147 deaths in 2021, an increase of 5, 8% from 2020. There was a 9% increase in road deaths in Region 5, reported the Department of Transportation, which includes the two states.

Earlier this week, NHTSA released $740 million in funding for states and communities to implement programs designed to address risky driving that could lead to traffic deaths.

“We are facing a crisis on America’s roads that we must resolve together,” US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement.

It would be the largest single-year increase in the history of NHTSA’s death analysis reporting system if the final count is near 43,000.

“This crisis on our roads is urgent and preventable,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Steven Cliff. “We will redouble our efforts on safety, and we need everyone – national and local governments, safety advocates, automakers and drivers – to join us. All of our lives depend on it.”

More kilometers were traveled in 2021 than in 2020, with 325 billion kilometers traveled nationwide. Alcohol-related deaths increased by 5% in 2021 compared to 2020, after increasing by 16% in 2020 compared to 2019. Speed-related deaths also increased by 5% compared to 2020.

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