A new report released by federal safety regulators shows that fatality crashes in the U.S. have hit a 20-year high.
On Wednesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its early estimates of traffic crashes in the U.S. during the year's first four months.
According to the agency's projections, 9,560 people died in vehicle crashes in the first quarter of 2022, a 7% increase from last year.
The agency said that's the highest number of fatalities in the first quarter since 2002.
More than 8,900 fatalities were projected for the same quarter last year, the agency said.
“The overall numbers are still moving in the wrong direction. Now is the time for all states to double down on traffic safety. Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, there are more resources than ever for research, interventions and effective messaging and programs that can reverse the deadly trend and save lives,” said Dr. Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s Administrator in the news release.
Although fatalities increased nationwide, the agency found that traffic deaths decreased in 19 states and Puerto Rico.