The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a report Tuesday that show a decline in traffic fatalities on U.S. roadways in 2019.
More speeding on the roadways, however, is noted as an issue during the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis.
There were 36,120 people who perished on the nation’s roadways last year, a 1.2% decrease from 2018 and the third straight year of modest declines, the report states.
“This is good news, but clearly much work remains,” a NHTSA news release states. “Tens of thousands of our family members and friends continue to be killed on our nation’s roads. We must do much more to ensure we all arrive at our destination safely.”
Late last month, many Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) members reported the COVID-19 crisis has led to more speeding on our roadways rather than the significant reduction in traffic crashes we would expect with the nation sheltering at home.
“Now, as states begin to reopen businesses and drivers resume their normal patterns, pent up demand could lead to an increase in crashes,” the release adds. “Americans, no doubt, are anxious to return to work, visit with friends and families, and socialize at restaurants and bars. When they do, they must extend the same care and focus on safety that has been exhibited throughout the pandemic to our roadways. Zero traffic fatalities is the only acceptable goal.”