WASHINGTON — The government has reported that U.S. traffic deaths surged in the first nine months of 2021 to 31,720, keeping up a record pace of increased dangerous driving during the pandemic.
The new estimated figure of people dying in motor vehicle crashes from January to September 2021 was 12% higher than the same period in 2020.
It represents the highest percentage increase over a nine-month period since the Transportation Department began recording fatal crash data in 1975.
The tally of 31,720 deaths was the highest nine-month figure since 2006.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has pledged help and last week released a new national strategy to reverse the trend.