Tragic milestone—46,000 lives lost on US roads

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

According to National Safety Council (NSC) estimates, traffic deaths exceeded 46,000 in 2022. This is the second consecutive year with such a high death rate. Many experts view this increase in traffic-related deaths, from which West Virginia is not immune, as primarily preventable.

Changing the language of traffic fatalities

The term “vehicle accidents” may suggest that car crashes are inevitable. Nonetheless, the reality is that most accidents on American roads are avoidable.

With this in mind, there is a growing push for a shift in the discourse surrounding vehicle-related fatalities and mobility within the community. Fatal motor vehicle accidents are caused by human driving errors, resulting in life loss. Modifying the terminology from “accidents” to “crashes” may be possible to change the public’s outlook on this preventable calamity.

The goal of zero fatalities on US roads

The National Roadway Safety Strategy, unveiled by the Department of Transportation, marks the first instance where the federal government has established a target of zero fatalities on American roads. The plan aims to take a comprehensive approach toward addressing all factors contributing to car crashes. Although achieving zero fatalities may appear unrealistic, there is a growing belief that by improving safety measures in regional, local, and federal roadways, devising plans for necessary safety enhancements, upgrading traffic lights, and promoting driver education, the ambitious goal can be accomplished.

Traffic deaths by state

Not all news for 2022 was bleak. States such as the District of Columbia reported a significant reduction in fatal crashes, with a 15% decline in vehicle crash fatalities Oklahoma led the charge with a remarkable 25% drop. In contrast, other states like Minnesota, South Dakota, and Arizona witnessed a decrease between 10% and 12%.

On the flip side, Alaska, Wyoming, and Hawaii experienced increased automobile crash fatalities, ranging from 20% to 27%. Such contrasting figures demonstrate that fatal car crash statistics can get influenced by factors within people’s control. Implementing specific individual, local, and federal measures can enhance safety on US roads.

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