Recent traffic safety reports published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) show reductions in traffic fatalities in Rhode Island and a corresponding improvement in national rankings compared to all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to a press release from the Rhode Island Department of Transporation (RIDOT).
This week NHTSA published the final data for 2021 in its Fatality Reporting System. The report ranks the states by examining fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. That analysis showed Rhode Island significantly rose in the rankings, becoming the second safest state in the country, according to RIDOT.
The reduction in fatalities in Rhode Island is in contrast to the rest of the country, which saw total fatalities rise 10 percent from 2020 to 2021.
“This most recent report shows the product of our hard work to make roads safer and influence driver behavior, particularly when it comes to driving impaired,” RIDOT Director Peter Alviti, Jr. said in a statement. “We will continue funding engineering, education and enforcement solutions to further reduce roadway deaths. Together, these efforts did precisely what they were designed to do – save lives.”
RIDOT says that this most recent report comes on the heels of two other national reports issued this year in which RIDOT showed gains in reducing highway safety deaths in 2022. A NHTSA report issued in January showed Rhode Island had the lowest fatality rate in the country.
In late February, GHSA published its annual Spotlight on Highway Safety report, which looked at pedestrian fatalities for the first six months of 2021 compared to 2022. In that report, Rhode Island was the safest state with the lowest pedestrian fatality rate per 100,000 people.