The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that they project a 0.3% drop in traffic fatalities in 2022 compared to 2021 when the agency reported the highest number of people dying in car wrecks in 16 years. They say 1.35 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled happened in 2022, down from 1.37 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles in 2021. Illinois’ fatality rate was 1.280 in 2022 compared to 1.334 in 2021.
National Roadway Safety Strategy
After declaring that the number of people dying on the nation’s highways was still a national crisis, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced the release of a National Roadway Safety Strategy.
Build and maintain safer roadways
The strategy calls for funding under the Infrastructure Law to provide funding for states and communities of all sizes to create safer roads. Initially, 166 projects were funded, including extensive street revitalization in East Moline, Illinois. Over 66% of the funded projects were in areas with persistent poverty or historically disadvantaged communities. The projects were evenly split between rural and urban areas.
Improving motor vehicle safety
The National Roadway Safety Strategy also calls on car manufacturers to improve safety in motor vehicles to prevent more motor vehicle accidents. The program would also require the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to update the information it publishes on new cars so that consumers can make informed decisions.
The strategy also contains more funding for driver behavior research so that dangerous driving activities, like drowsy driving, can be identified and innovative technology developed to help prevent these behaviors.
The National Roadway Safety Strategy adopts a three-prong approach to lowering the number of people dying on the nation’s highways. The strategy includes funding for road improvements, new vehicle technology and behavioral research.