Statement on Increase in Traffic Deaths in First Quarter of 2022

“People are dying on America’s roads at levels not seen since 2002, with no apparent plan to address this immediate crisis. For the third consecutive year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported horrifying new estimates of the number of people killed in traffic crashes, while we have seen a troubling lack of commitment to take action to stop the slaughter occurring on our roads.

With so many terrifying, high-profile crashes playing out daily, there is no time for complacency. We need to return to the basics of enforcing hazardous driving behavior laws and prosecuting these choices to the fullest extent of the law. Research has shown that this can be done in a fair and equitable way. The latest estimates that 9,560 people were killed in traffic crashes in the first quarter of 2022 – a 7% increase over first quarter 2021 – indicate that lives taken by someone’s choice to drive impaired will reach the highest levels in over a decade at a time when traffic safety enforcement is down.

In light of this report, we urge the Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to convene a national Call to Action meeting to implement his National Roadway Safety Strategy and prioritize the use of proven traffic safety countermeasures as soon as possible. The strategy must prioritize swift actions to increase fair and equitable traffic safety enforcement and implementation of the Congressionally mandated rulemaking to require technology in all new cars that will prevent drunk driving. These must be approached with a genuine sense of urgency aimed at saving lives and preventing injuries.”

– MADD National President Alex Otte

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 400,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.

Contact: Becky Iannotta, [email protected]



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