Highway fatalities increased 22% to 46,000 in 2022 compared to three years earlier, according to a preliminary estimate from the National Safety Council (NSC).
The NSC estimates cellphones were involved in more than a quarter of crashes, and a poll by Nationwide Insurance says its agents believe 50% of all crashes involved distracted driving.
According to the NSC, the mileage death rate in 2022 increased nearly 22% when compared to pre-pandemic 2019.
”From drivers and passengers to pedestrians and cyclists, road users of all ages are perishing in preventable crashes in the United States,” said Lorraine Martin, NSC president and CEO. “Words matter, and as a country, we need to learn and understand that there are no vehicle accidents. Each crash that occurs on America’s roads is entirely preventable and unacceptable. We must change the way we think about designing and moving around in our communities, understanding that people will make mistakes and the cost of those mistakes should not be serious injury or death.”
United Motorcoach Association (UMA) President and CEO Scott Michael said: “We all have a role. Companies should remind drivers of the hazards associated with distracted driving and that there are severe penalties for using a cell phone while driving a commercial motor vehicle. Civil penalties can go up to $2,750 and driver disqualification for multiple offenses.”
Motor carriers are prohibited from requiring or allowing their drivers to text or use a hand-held mobile phone while driving and may be subject to civil penalties up to $11,000 for violations.
NSC has calculated traffic fatality estimates since 1913. It says fatality estimates are subject to slight changes as the data is finalized.