Idaho saw the single largest percentage increase in traffic deaths of any state in the country in 2021.
According to the National Highway Safety Administration, there were 206 traffic related deaths in Idaho in the first nine months of 2021, compared to 151 deaths in 2020. That’s an increase of 36%, in contrast to the 12% increase in traffic fatalities nationwide.
The Idaho Transportation Department’s website had slightly different numbers, estimating there were 190 traffic-related deaths between January and September 2021 and 211 deaths for the entire year. An Idaho State Police news release on Dec. 16 said there were 254 traffic fatalities in 2021. The Post Register reached out to ITD and ISP to clarify these numbers and how traffic fatalities were counted, but did not receive a response.
Between January 2017 and January 2022 Idaho saw 1,020 fatal crashes that caused 1,129 deaths, according to data available on the Idaho Transportation Department’s website. The state recorded 25,977 crashes in total during that five-year period.
Among the causes of crashes listed by the Idaho Transportation Department, three are connected to about half of all crashes: failure to yield, following too close, and inattention. Idaho State Police said more than a third of traffic deaths involve alcohol, spurring increased efforts to stop DUIs.
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