July 23, 2022 – 2020 and 2021 saw the biggest spike in over 50 years to a total of almost 43,000 traffic fatalities per year, turning the roadway fatality clock back to 2002. In short, something’s not working as well as it did.
“The United States has chosen not to develop automotive safety standards that are designed to protect pedestrians, both in terms of testing and (vehicle) requirements,” says Yonah Freemark, senior research associate at the Urban Institute. European autos are rated on pedestrian impact in a collision, where US car safety ratings focus primarily on how well the car protects those inside of it.
Listen to Yonah Freemark’s conversation with CNET’s Brian Cooley to hear what he believes could bend the curve of US road fatalities, perhaps to new lows that vehicle technology itself might never deliver.