Traffic fatalities rose quite a bit in Massachusetts in 2021, and if current trends continue, 2022 is on pace to be an even deadlier year on state roadways. In response to rising road death numbers, transportation and public safety officials are trying to increase public awareness about the problem and the importance of wearing seat belts.
Per Boston.com, there were more than 400 traffic deaths that took place in Massachusetts in 2021. This was a 22% increase over the number of road deaths seen the year prior. It is also the highest number of traffic deaths Massachusetts has seen in 11 years.
How crash numbers look in 2022
During the first six months of 2022, 172 people died on Massachusetts roadways. This is 10 more such fatalities than seen during the same span the year prior when road deaths reached an 11-year high. If this trend continues through the end of 2022, this year should surpass last year as the deadliest year on state roadways since 2010.
What contributes to Massachusetts’ deadly crashes
Speed is a factor in many fatal Massachusetts car wrecks, and the faster a driver travels, the more likely he or she is to contribute to or cause a fatal crash. A lack of seat belt use also contributes to many state road deaths. However, research shows that, when drivers and passengers wear seat belts, they become 45% less likely to die in a subsequent car crash. Wearing a seat belt also reduces the chance of a critical injury by half.
Road death data compiled at the end of 2022 should give transportation and safety officials a better idea of the severity of the problem.