Traffic fatalities declined very slightly in the first half of 2022 in the U.S.  -  Photo: Canva

Traffic fatalities declined very slightly in the first half of 2022 in the U.S.

Photo: Canva

Some 21,340 people died in roadway crashes across the U.S. during the first six months of 2022 — a 1% decrease as compared to the same period in 2021, according to preliminary estimates from the National Safety Council (NSC).

This latest news offers a hint of hope, as the 2022 first quarter fatality estimates were truly alarming. According to that latest estimate from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 9,560 people lost their lives in motor vehicle collisions in the first quarter of 2022 — up 7% from the 8,935 fatalities for the same quarter in 2021.

But beginning in April, or the start of the second quarter, U.S. roads have experienced less loss of life. In fact, June 2022 was the third consecutive month with roadway deaths below 2021 levels and the first month below 2020 levels, according to the new NSC figures. 

Even so, safety advocates caution about celebrating a 1% decrease in deaths for the first half of 2022 as compared to 2021. It’s a tiny decline nationally, and many states experienced increases in the first half of 2022.

Specifically, some 10 states saw a scary rise in fatalities of 19% or more in the first six months of 2022. These include Maine, which is up 52% with 28 more deaths, as well as Vermont and Delaware both up 43% with 12 and 23 more lost lives, respectively.

Other states that experienced a rise in fatalities in the first six months of 2022 as compared to the same period in 2021 include Alaska (up 41%), Hawaii (36%), Washington (31%), Connecticut (29%), New Jersey (27%), New Hampshire (27%), and Nebraska (19%).

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