Traffic deaths in the U.S. are on the rise even as mileage has fallen.
New data points to impaired driving, speeding, a failure to wear seats beats and
Tesla's Autopilot other unsafe behavior as the cause for the spike in deaths, according to Reuters.
The data comes from the NHTSA who said last week that 8,730 people died in car crashes in the first three months alone in 2021. This compares to 7,900 deaths last year.
Annualized, that's more than 33,000 deaths per year from traffic deaths! This means only one thing: it's as bad as another Covid variant! Everybody double mask and no one is allowed to use their cars anymore! (Hey Australia, we're only joking).
The numbers mark a 10.5% increase YOY despite less miles being driven. Miles driven fell by 2.1%.
Traffic deaths were up 7.2% in 38,680 in 2020, marking the highest yearly total since 2007, Reuters reported. Americans drove 13% fewer miles in 2020.
The NHTSA is "working closely with our safety partners to address risky driving behaviors such as speeding, impaired driving, and failing to buckle up," said Administrator Steven Cliff.
National Transportation Safety Board chairwoman Jennifer Homendy called it a "terrible situation".
The agency said that the rise in deaths in 2020 could be partially attributable to drivers on the road after lockdowns engaging in "riskier behavior".
Meanwhile, the data suggests that there were more serious crashes last year as a result of drug and alcohol use, the report concluded.