Georgia and other states experienced an uptick in car accidents in 2021. Unfortunately, the increase also resulted in more deaths from those accidents.
How many people were killed in crashes?
The NHTSA reported that almost 43,000 people died in car accidents in 2021. This equated to a 10.5% increase in motor vehicle fatalities compared to 2020. The number is also the largest increase over the past decade-plus in terms of deaths from these accidents.
According to traffic data compiled over the past two years, certain things led to the rise in traffic accident fatalities. More people neglected to wear their seatbelts while driving or riding as a passenger. Many drivers also engaged in reckless behaviors such as speeding and were under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Such behaviors are known to significantly increase the risk of serious crashes and deaths.
In addition to Georgia, 43 other states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico saw more deaths from car accidents in 2021 versus the previous year. More people traveled farther while driving as well.
Who are the victims most affected by these trends?
All age groups were affected by the increase in car accident fatalities in 2021. Middle-aged drivers between 35 and 44 years old saw the highest increase at 15%. Senior citizens dying in crashes increased by 14%. Children younger than 16 accounted for a 6% increase in car crash deaths that year.
Drivers, passengers, bicyclists and pedestrians were all impacted by the increase in fatal motor vehicle accidents. Huge trucks sometimes played a part in serious accidents resulting in deaths.
Why is this happening?
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg stated that the increase in traffic fatalities in 2021 was largely due to more Americans engaging in risky behaviors behind the wheel. However, he also believes that faulty infrastructure is partly to blame and acknowledged that the administration must work on creating safer roads for everyone, including pedestrians and cyclists.
The NHTSA also started the Click It or Ticket campaign, which aims to get more people wearing seatbelts while riding in motor vehicles.