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NHTSA calls rising US roadway deaths a ‘crisis’

DETROIT — The number of people killed on U.S. roadways continued to rise in the first half of 2022, according to the government’s highway safety agency.

Deaths declined from April through June, yet the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration called the number of highway fatalities a national crisis.

The agency said Monday that early estimates show that 20,175 people died in crashes from January through June, an increase of 0.5% over the same period last year. But from April through June, the agency reported the first quarterly decline after seven-straight quarters of increases that started in 2020.

The drop may signal that traffic deaths are finally dropping after an increase fueled by more dangerous driving that happened as roads were clear of traffic during lockdowns early in the coronavirus pandemic.

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