July 10-16 is Operation Safe Driver Week- a safe-driving awareness and outreach initiative aimed at improving the driving behaviors of passenger vehicle drivers and commercial motor vehicle drivers through educational and traffic enforcement strategies with law enforcement.

Throughout Operation Safe Driver Week, law enforcement personnel will be on the lookout for commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers engaging in risky driving. Identified unsafe drivers will be pulled over and issued a citation or warning.

Officers pulled over 28,148 commercial motor vehicles and 17,910 passenger vehicles during last year’s Operation Safe Driver Week and issued 10,486 warnings and 16,863 citations. Throughout the week, law enforcement personnel pulled over and issued warnings or citations to drivers they observed engaging in dangerous driving behaviors, such as speeding or distracted driving.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) released its latest annual traffic crash report, showing that 38,824 lives were lost in traffic crashes nationwide in 2021 – the highest number of fatalities since 2007. And while the number of crashes and traffic injuries declined overall, fatal crashes increased by 6.8%.

Among the alarming statistics in NHTSA’s report was the key finding that speed-related fatalities increased by 17%. Consequently, speeding, in particular, will be a dangerous driving behavior that officers will identify and target during Operation Safe Driver Week.

Data shows that traffic stops and interactions with law enforcement help reduce problematic driving behaviors. By making contact with drivers during Operation Safe Driver Week, law enforcement personnel aim to make our roadways safer by targeting high-risk driving behaviors.

The Facts

  • Speeding has been a factor in more than a quarter of crash deaths since 2008.
  • Speeding of any kind was the most frequent driver-related crash factor for drivers of commercial motor vehicles and passenger vehicles.
  • Speeding was a factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities in 2021, killing 9,378 people or an average of more than 25 people per day.
  • Distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in 2021.
  • Of the 22,215 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2021, 47% were not wearing seat belts. Seat belts saved an estimated 14,955 lives and could have saved an additional 2,549 people if they had been wearing seat belts.
  • Every day, about 28 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes — that’s one person every 52 minutes. In 2021 10,142 people lost their lives due to drunk driving.