Two years after the outbreak of the Govt-19 epidemic, the United States is facing a worrying increase in the number of traffic deaths described by officials as a “national crisis.”
According to the latest data from the Department of Transportation, 31,720 people died between January and September 2021.Maximum number recorded in the first nine months of a year after 2006.
This is a 12% increase compared to the same period in 2020 (When 28,325 deaths occurred), the highest percentage growth in the first nine months of a year, was created in 1975 by a system that analyzes data on fatalities in motor vehicle accidents in 1975.
Although the total number of kilometers traveled has been reduced since the onset of the epidemic, there has been an increase, and this has been seen in both urban and rural roads.
Reports say there was Growth in the number of road traffic deaths in 38 of the 50 U.S. states.
“It’s a national crisis,” Transport Secretary Pete Boutique said last month, announcing measures to combat the problem.
“We cannot and should not accept these deaths as an inevitable part of everyday life.”
Although the reasons are not yet fully known, This recent increase is believed to have been triggered by an epidemic.
“Although the number of annual road deaths has been declining for many years, that progress has stalled over the past decade, and now, dangerously, the number of deaths during epidemics has increased,” says the Department of Transportation.
Many analysts point out that the American road system is designed to allow speed – Photo: Getty Images via BBC
Seat belt, speed and alcohol
The trend verified by the central government has been confirmed by other analyzes. According to the National Security Council (NSC), it is a non-profit organization that works to prevent accidents and deaths. More than 42,000 people died in the 11 months from 20219% growth over 2020 and 18% over 2019.
The NSC’s numbers are often higher than the number of the Department of Transportation, including private and off-road car accidents, such as parking lots.
Furthermore, the Department of Transportation covers deaths one month after the accident, while NSC data include deaths one year later.
But despite these differences, NSC statistics manager Ken Colosh told the BBC News Brazil that his organization also found a link between the increase in deaths and epidemics. He cites three factors that contributed to this development.
“Especially during the first few months of the epidemic, the number of motorists not wearing seat belts increased,” Colosh said, adding that the number of people being ejected from vehicles during collisions increased.
The researcher points out that the reason for this behavior change is not yet known. Colossus further recalled, Since the onset of the epidemic, the number of accidents caused by drunk drivers has increased..
The third thing he highlighted was that, due to the epidemic, fewer people had to go to work. “Our roads were less congested, which allowed drivers to drive faster,” the analyst says..
The increase in the number of traffic deaths also occurred at the same time Sharp decline in public transport use in the United States.
Federal data show that between September 2019 and September 2020, the number of passengers on subways, buses, city trains and other public transport fell by almost 80%.
As of September last year, the number of passengers had grown moderately, but was almost 60% below pre-epidemic levels.
Despite the impact of the epidemic, the traffic death crisis includes other, older factors.
The report, released last year by the International Transport Forum, compares dangerous traffic accidents in 34 countries with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
When analyzing the evolution of mortality between 2010 and 2018, it has decreased in 26 of these countries.
In the United States, however, the number of deaths increased by 11% over the same period, which is one of the worst performances.
Experts point out the importance of ensuring the enforcement and enforcement of road safety laws such as speed limits – Photo: Getty Images via BBC
While 25 countries have declined, the country has also had the worst end in pedestrian mortality.
Many analysts point out that the U.S. Highway System is designed to allow for performance and speed.
“We need to think about how we design our roads so that everyone can use them safely. This includes people in cars, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists,” Kolosh said.
Secretary Pete Boutique announced the federal government’s plan to increase road safety with funding for the infrastructure package announced by President Joe Biden last month.
Says Boutique Its purpose is not only to prevent accidents, but also to prevent serious injury or death if they occur..
A number of measures are planned to increase road and highway safety, from designs for bike lanes and bus lanes to strict speed limits and better lighting.
It is also planned to improve vehicle safety using technology.
Experts also point out the importance of ensuring that traffic safety laws such as speed limits are enforced and enforced.
Kolosh fears that even if the epidemic is over, there will be changes that will lead to a greater number of deaths.
“Drivers have adopted some very dangerous behaviors. Now, as traffic returns to the pre-epidemic level, these behaviors are even more dangerous and dangerous,” he says.
But he and other experts point out that encouraging behavioral changes among drivers alone is not enough. It is essential to ensure that roads and streets are safe.
“Humans will always make mistakes. But even if you make a mistake, our road system must ensure that it does not cause a fatal accident,” says Kolosh.
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