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A multiple dearly car crash pileup on an interstate.

Deadly Car Crashes Spiked a Scary Amount in 2021: ‘This Is a National Crisis’

Recent numbers show spiking death rates. According to a recent study, car deaths increased exponentially during the first three seasons of the year. After United States Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg christened it a national crisis, it's time to take this trend more seriously. 

While many modern cars come with advanced features to improve driver safety, recent numbers show it is not enough to curb the spiking death rates from car accidents. According to a recent study, car deaths increased exponentially during the first three seasons of the year. After United States Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg declared it a national crisis, it’s time to take this trend of car crashes more seriously. 

A crisis on the road with car crashes

A multiple dearly car crash pileup on an interstate.
Deadly multiple car crash | Getty Images

According to an NHTSA’s study, an estimated 31,720 people died in car crashes during the first nine months of 2021. This was a 12% increase from the 28,325 car accidents during the same timeframe in 2020. The spike affected 38 states, while two remained even and 10 improved. However, with the overall numbers spiking and more people heading back on the road, Buttigieg acknowledged the steps they needed to take. 

“This is a national crisis. We cannot and must not accept these deaths as an inevitable part of everyday life,” said the Transportation Secretary. “The good news is we now have a strategy, as well as the resources and programs to deliver it, thanks to the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The National Roadway Safety Strategy is America’s first-ever national, comprehensive plan to significantly reduce deaths and injuries on our roads.” 

The numbers come as people across the country yearn for better public transportation—especially in rural areas. While many Americans commute to work in areas where this isn’t an option, it’s up to the TSA to find a fix for the immediate future. Luckily for drivers, they’re already underway. 

What can we do to decrease the number of car crashes? 

Buttigieg and company have since laid the groundwork for improving the dire situation on our streets. According to a report from Axios, the Safety Strategy establishes a universal standard that helps keep the roads safe through technology and infrastructure. 

This, alongside fixes to the tech inside the car, helps balance out the issues that have plagued the auto industry for over a century. With more companies on board with the latest wave of safety regulations, the auto industry aims to make its tech safer than ever. This not only takes some of the danger out of the drivers’ hands but lets the car react in ways that human eyes cannot. 

Furthermore, the TSA encourages car companies to make these features standard for all price ranges, proposing programs to offset the prices and promote safety for drivers and pedestrians alike. However, with artificial intelligence-driven systems feeding into other privacy concerns, some may fight these changes. 

However, every step those in power take toward a better future should help alleviate this rise as more people commute back to work and the technology moves forward. As of now, several companies already offer life-saving tech, which could soon be the norm.  

What are companies doing? 

Several industry leaders are already working toward a safer future, from advanced pedestrian detection to adaptive emergency brake systems, which activate both in-town and out on the freeway. Some recent models take this a step further by adjusting cruise control speed to the speed of moving traffic and increasing the space between the driver and the other car. 

The auto industry runs on the competition. However, for the greater good of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians alike, a unified effort to keep the streets safe and provide all drivers with safer car environments, perhaps a compromise on accessibity is due.

Nothing will do away with car crashes entirely, but with new tech comes hope and new concerns about the safety of new drivers. As technology improves and more data comes with it roads should become safer and more accessible to those with shallow pockets. Until then, drivers must keep open eyes and minds, so they are ready and aware out on the road. 

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