More people died in car accidents in the first half of 2021 than in any time since the first half of 2006. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put the 2021 figure at 20,160, which is up 18.4% from the same period in 2020.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg commented, “This is a crisis. More than 20,000 people died on U.S. roads in the first six months of 2021, leaving countless loved ones behind. We cannot and should not accept these fatalities as simply a part of everyday life in America.” The fact is, they are part of daily life, and no one has found ways to improve the numbers. Speeding and many people not wearing seatbelts were listed as causes.
Car safety has come a long way in the past half-century. Seatbelts were installed in cars. Then, the government mandated that people had to wear them. Airbags became part of the standard features of modern cars, as did antilock brakes. Then, cars were designed with “crumple zones” to help people survive crashes and lower the rate of injuries. Most recently, cars have technology that senses possible accidents and applies the brakes automatically.
Drunk driving also has declined over the decades due to the efforts of groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Judges are more likely to take licenses away from drivers who are drunk.
There is also no good reason to think the COVID-19 pandemic has increased dangerous driving. Why would drivers be more careless than in 2019?
24/7 Wall St. looked at collision and fatality data from 194 cities across the United States to pick the safest city to drive in.
The safest city to drive in is Cary, North Carolina. Here are the details:
- Average time between collisions: 12.0 years
- Likelihood of collision compared to U.S. average: −12.0% (182nd)
- Motor vehicle fatalities per 100K: 1.8 (191st)
- Population: 171,143
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