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Traffic fatalities rose an estimated 10.5% in 2021, reach 16-year high, NHTSA reports

Trend in fatality rate for vehicle miles traveled decreased for three quarters of 2021

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Traffic fatalities across the U.S. rose 10.5% in 2021 to a projected 42,915 deaths, reaching a 16-year high, according to statistics released today by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

That projected increase from 38,824 fatalities in 2020 is “the highest number of fatalities since 2005 and the largest annual percentage increase in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System’s history,” NHTSA announced today.

ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner expressed concern over the record-breaking fatality rate.

“ATSSA’s members have devoted their lives to roadway safety and providing the infrastructure and technology needed to save the lives of the motoring public as well as men and women working on our roadways,” Tetschner said. “This unprecedented increase in traffic fatalities brings home the importance of our work and the necessity of government and private industry partnering to provide safe thoroughfares. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which was enacted into law in November, provides historic levels of federal funding for roadway safety infrastructure projects. Departments of transportation around the country, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, must prioritize getting these funds to critical, lifesaving safety projects as soon as possible. We know that safer roads save lives. ATSSA members are ready to go to work with their agency partners to move toward zero deaths on all roads.”

Images capture NWZAW efforts from individuals to public officials working to save lives

Messages across the nation encourage everyone to do their part for work zone safety

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Across the country, individuals, ATSSA members, public officials, government agencies, major corporations and at least one university pitched in for National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) to spread the word about the importance of safety in and around roadway work zones.

This year’s NWZAW theme was: Drive Safe. Work Safe. Save Lives. People took a personal approach, used statistics, employed billboards, aired videos and posted to social media all in an effort to heighten awareness of the risks to motorists, their passengers and workers in roadway work zones.

Here are some of the images from efforts across the country for this annual public awareness campaign.

ATSSA joins stakeholders in urging Biden to commit to zero fatalities by 2050

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ATSSA, along with more than 70 other organizations, sent a letter to President Joseph R. Biden on Wednesday urging him to commit to reaching a goal of zero roadway fatalities by 2050.

“Reaching zero fatalities has been a longtime priority for ATSSA,” said Vice President of Engagement Nate Smith. “Our advocacy work in Washington, D.C. and in state capitals around the country is consistently urging legislators to make progress towards that goal.”