Traffic deaths hit record levels during pandemic

(CNN) The number of Americans killed in U.S. traffic collisions surged during the pandemic.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, almost 32,000 people died in vehicle crashes in the first nine months of 2021, the highest figure since 2006.

The agency says the surge in traffic deaths began in the summer of 2020.

All but 11 states saw an increase in traffic fatalities between 2020 and 2021, with Idaho, Nevada, and Oregon recording the highest percentage increases.

Last month, Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced the National Roadway Safety Strategy.

The plan includes reaching a long-term goal of zero traffic deaths through road design, by promoting safer speeds and expanding the availability of safety features in vehicles, and expediting emergency care after crashes.

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