2021 traffic deaths in North Carolina top previous mark set in 2007

Published 4:03 pm Sunday, February 13, 2022

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North Carolina reported a record 1,755 traffic deaths in 2021, topping the previous mark set in 2007 and 5% higher than the number of deaths recorded in 2020.

Data from the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program released on Thursday showed a decline in some types of crashes compared to 2020. North Carolina saw a decrease in traffic fatalities related to pedestrians, cyclists and work zones, but there was also an increase in fatalities attributed to speeding, occupants not wearing seat belts and distracted driving.

Nationally, the 31,720 people killed in the first nine months of 2021 represented more deaths on U.S. roads than the first nine months of any year since 2006, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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In 2021, the governor’s program awarded more than $18 million in grants to nearly 100 organizations across North Carolina for a variety of initiatives targeting key traffic safety areas. Grant recipients include local and state law enforcement agencies, nonprofit organizations, courts and state departments.