These 5 States Made Up 40% of US Traffic Fatalities in 2022

CHARLOTTE – The National Highway Safety Administration recently reported the united states saw 31,785 fatalities in the first nine months of 2022.

WCCB spoke with Mark Ezzell with the North Carolina Governor Highway Safety Program who agrees these stats are accurate.

“It certainly tracks with what we’re seeing that North Carolina’s alcohol related fatality rates on our roads are unacceptably high,” he said.

Here is the breakdown of the top 5 states that contributed to 37% of those fatalities:

State                       Fatalities      Change from 2021
1. Texas                      3,349           0.4% increase
2. California              3,178           2.2% decrease
3. Florida                  2,762           1.2% decrease
4. Georgia                 1, 353          3.8 % increase
5. North Carolina    1,238           0.3% increase

Mark believes a big piece of these numbers is related to COVID-19.

“It was a stressful time for many North Carolinians and many throughout the world,” Mark said. “We found that substance use rates increase, and so that showed itself on the roads so that was certainly an issue. During COVID, I think honestly, people were emotionally distracted. They were worried about their families and their own health and their jobs. and so that created a level of distraction.”

of course, efforts have been taken in North Carolina to continue the push to lower these numbers.

One big push being the “booze it & lose it” campaign, which is the state’s push to remove impaired drivers from the road using checkpoints and increased patrols.

But, even Mark knows this campaign can’t be the only cure to get North Carolina of of this high fatality ranking.

“It’s going to take a real societal change,” he said. “Many different groups work together to make safety the bottom line, and that’s what we’ve got to do on our roads. Other countries have done it successfully and we can do it successfully in the United States and in North Carolina.”