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Deaths from car accidents jumped in 2020 despite fewer miles

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Posted at 9:01 PM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-06 08:34:38-05

The National Safety Council said that U.S. deaths from vehicle accidents jumped 24% in 2020, marking a 13-year high despite fewer miles driven by Americans amid the pandemic.

The 24% increase marked the largest year-to-year increase the NSC has calculated since 1924.

"It is tragic that in the U.S., we took cars off the roads and didn't reap any safety benefits," said Lorraine M. Martin, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. "These data expose our lack of an effective roadway safety culture. It is past time to address roadway safety holistically and effectively, and NSC stands ready to assist all stakeholders, including the federal government."

The National Safety Council said accidents caused an estimated 4.8 million serious injuries in 2020. South Dakota (33%) and Vermont (32%) had the largest year-to-year increase in vehicle deaths.

According to federal government data, Americans traveled 432 billion fewer miles, which marked a 13% decline in miles traveled.