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US registers over 20,000 road fatalities in 1st half of 2021

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Oct 29, 2021 - 10:12 AM

WASHINGTON (AA) – An estimated 20,160 people died in motor vehicle traffic accidents across the US in the first half of 2021, authorities said Thursday.

“This represents an increase of about 18.4% compared to the 17,020 fatalities that were projected in the first half of 2020,” the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a report.

The figure also represents the highest number of fatalities during the first half of the year since 2006.

“This is a crisis,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a statement, adding the US “should not accept these fatalities as simply a part of everyday life in America.”

Buttigieg said the department will produce its first ever National Roadway Safety Strategy to identify action steps for everyone working to save lives on the road.

“No one will accomplish this alone. It will take all levels of government, industries, advocates, engineers and communities across the country working together toward the day when family members no longer have to say goodbye to loved ones because of a traffic crash,” he added.

In addition, vehicle miles traveled in the first half of 2021 increased by about 173.1 billion miles, or about 13%, according to the report.

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