The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, estimates that almost 43,000 people died in traffic-related accidents in 2021.
The federal agency’s estimate is a grim milestone for the country. The number of deaths is at the highest it has been since 2005. Furthermore, the number is a 10.5% increase over the almost 39,000 fatalities in 2020. This year marks the largest year-to-year increase since NHTSA began tracking such information.
One bright spot in the report was that the fatality rate per miles driven dropped ever so slightly from 2020.
However, in many other respects, the report suggested that we have a long way to go toward making our highways safer.
For example, both speeding-related and alcohol-related fatalities increased by 5%.
The report also suggested that motorists across the country, including in Orlando and the surrounding communities, could do a better job watching out for pedestrians. The number of pedestrian deaths shot up by 13% in 2021.
Large trucks were also often involved in traffic-related deaths. The number of deaths involving semis increased by 13%.
For its part, Florida saw a significant increase in fatalities. Only a handful of states reported that the number of fatalities on their roads had decreased or stayed the same.
Motorists who cause fatal accidents can be held financially accountable
The sad thing about these numbers is that so many fatal accidents are preventable. For example, the dangers of speeding are well-known, and there is simply no excuse for drunk or drugged driving.
Still, Florida drivers continue to engage in these risky behaviors, and they continue to kill people on the roads as a result. When these tragedies happen, it is only right that a grieving family should be able legally to recover their financial and emotional losses from those who are responsible for them.