Distraction, Speeding, Alcohol Drive Up Traffic Deaths Nationwide In 2021

DETROIT (AP) — Nearly 43,000 people died in U.S. traffic crashes in 2021, the highest number in 16 years, with deaths due to speeding and impaired or distracted driving on the rise.

The 2021 final numbers, released Monday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, confirmed earlier estimates showing a 10.5% increase in deaths over 2020.

That’s the highest number in 16 years and the largest percentage increase since 1975.

Data shows a 12% rise in fatal crashes involving at least one distracted driver, with 3,522 people killed. T

hat prompted the agency to kick off a $5 million advertising campaign in an effort to keep drivers focused.

The number of pedestrians killed rose 13%, while deaths of unbelted passengers were up rose 8.1%.

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