The number of people killed on Nebraska’s roads fell in 2021 as the death toll rose nationwide, but two state security experts still see improvements to be made here.
Motor vehicle crashes on Nebraska roads as of Friday morning claimed the lives of 220 people in 2021, down just over 5% from 232 deaths in 2020, according to the Highway Safety Bureau from the Nebraska Department of Transportation.
A drop in motorcycle and pedestrian fatalities has led to a decrease in the death toll in Nebraska. Twenty-two deaths from motorcycle accidents occurred in 2021, up from 26 in 2020. The year also saw the deaths of 14 pedestrians, up from 19 in 2020.
“It’s definitely positive that our deaths (on the road) are going down,” said Bill Kovarik, administrator of the Nebraska Department of Transportation’s office of road safety. “It’s different from most other states this year, and we hope to see this trend continue.”
In the first six months of 2021, according to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration, the number of fatalities increased by nearly 20% from the previous year, with 20,000 people dying on U.S. roads. This is the largest increase in six months in the number of road fatalities since records began in 1975.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement accompanying the report that incidents of speeding and not using seat belts were higher than before the pandemic.