Soaring US traffic deaths becoming a ‘public safety crisis’ as fatalities hit 15-year high in first half of 2021

That percentage increase was the biggest six-month increase since the department began recording fatal crash data since 1975.

The department, which includes the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, announced that it will develop a national strategy for steps to save lives on the roads.

“We cannot and should not accept these fatalities as simply a part of everyday life in America,” Buttigieg said in a statement Thursday. “No one will accomplish this alone. It will take all levels of government, industries, advocates, engineers and communities across the country working together toward the day when family

NHTSA also said that behavioral research from March through June showed that speeding and traveling without a seat belt remain higher than before the coronavirus pandemic. The agency has pointed to increasing road deaths, a trend for the last two years, on more reckless behavior on the roads.

Consumer groups have been urging the agency to move more quickly to boost road safety, pointing to increasing accidents and a yearslong backlog in implementing safety rules. An Associated Press review earlier this month of rule-making by NHTSA found at least 13 auto-safety rules past due, including a rear seat belt reminder requirement passed by Congress in 2012 that was to be implemented

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