LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — The Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) released statistics on highway fatalities for the first part of 2022 and the number of fatalities, and fatal crashes, are higher than during the same time period in any year since 2018. So far this year, only 23 out of 73 vehicle occupants killed were wearing seatbelts. Eleven other deaths reported by NDOT included motorcyclists and pedestrians.
Between January and April, there were 84 fatalities and 72 fatal crashes. By comparison: 2021 had 61 fatalities with 50 fatal crashes; 2020 had 56 fatalities and 54 fatal crashes; 2019 saw 63 fatalities with 55 fatal crashes; 2018 had 63 fatalities and 54 fatal crashes.
The average number of fatal crashes over the last five years is 53 and the average number of fatalities is 61. Those numbers include years during the height of the pandemic when fewer people may have been on the road.
The NDOT also released data specifically related to April crashes:
- In April 2022, there were 14 fatalities occurred in 13 fatal crashes.
- In April 2021, there were 16 fatalities.
- Seven of the thirteen vehicle occupants killed were not using seatbelts, one was using seatbelts, and
- five had seatbelt usage marked as unknown.
- Eleven of the fatalities were in rural locations (areas with population lower than 5,000).
- There were zero fatalities on the interstate, nine on other highways, and five on local roads
- One of the fatalities was a pedestrian