WASHINGTON (AP) — After their 16-year-old daughter died in a car crash, David and Wendy Mills wondered whether she would be alive if federal rules on rear seat belt warnings had been issued on time.
Four years later, with no rule and traffic fatalities spiking, they’re still at a loss over the inaction.
Last year, over half of all crash fatalities involved unbelted drivers or occupants, the highest level since 2012, according to NHTSA.
An estimated 38,680 people were killed in traffic crashes in 2020, the highest total since 2007, even though total miles driven dropped due to stay-at-home orders at the beginning of the pandemic. In the first three months of 2021, 8,730 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes, a 10.5% increase from the same period last year.
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