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NHTSA: Traffic deaths nationwide hit 20 year high during first quarter 2022

KVIA

EL PASO, Texas -- During the Labor Day holiday, many will be hitting the roads. But a new report warns traffic deaths remain on the rise.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates 9,560 peopled died from motor vehicle crashes between January to March.

According to the administration, that's the highest first quarter since 2002.

Here in El Paso, the police department says 49 people have died so far this year compared to 45 last years -- a 9% increase.

A driving instructor at A2B Driving School in northeast El Paso said the biggest concern is distracted driving on the roads and cell phone use.

“A lot of (students) will tuck (their phone) under their leg, which if they hit the brakes too hard, it can slide out and I've seen that happen," the instructor said. "I've seen them reach for it while driving. If it's in the cupholder, it's probably too easy of access, they might be tempted to check it. Keep the cell phone in a pocket or a purse and just don't use it while you drive.” 

Drunk driving is also a concern. The El Paso Police Department issued more than 150 DWI's from August 1 to August 28 alone.

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