2021 saw a massive surge in traffic deaths across Missouri and the rest of the nation. There are many reasons that can be given for this major spike. The surge in traffic after the end of lockdown saw more people on the roads than ever. Unsafe driving practices and the bad results they can bring were all too common.
Nearly 43,000 people died on highways in 2021
A new report issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that fatal motor vehicle accidents were at their highest level in 16 years. The number of people killed on roads due to these accidents was listed at nearly 43,000. This is the largest increase in percentage since the agency began recording in 1975.
All but 6 states in the nation showed a major increase in the level of deaths on the road. The total number of fatalities was given as 42,915, up from the level of 38,824 that was recorded in 2020. This averaged out to nearly 118 people dying in motor vehicle crashes each day.
Many of these accidents were due to very common and preventable causes. The agency listed such errors as speeding, driving while intoxicated, driving while texting, and not wearing seat belts. As a result, the number of deaths surged to a level that police and emergency medical personnel were not equipped to handle.
Fatalities surged across all age groups
The increasing number of fatalities on roads throughout the country has not been limited to any particular group of people. For example, fatal accidents that involved people age 65 and older spiked to a level of 14% past what it had been in 2020. Deaths among drivers between the ages of 35 and 44 rose by a level of 15%.
Children under the age of 16 were also affected. Deaths occurring to people in this age group rose by 6%. Fatalities that involved a truck rose by 13%. While measures are being taken to curb these trends, their effects remain to be seen.