Oct 21, 2021
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and mandatory lockdowns consuming much of the year, 2020 proved to be particularly deadly for drivers. With a mileage death rate of 1.49 deaths per 100 vehicle miles traveled, last year saw a 24% increase when compared to figures from 2019.
Unfortunately, new data released by the National Safety Council (NSC) indicates 2021 will actually be even more deadly than 2020, with many states seeing year-over-year traffic fatality increases exceeding 30%.
In terms of total motor vehicle deaths, the NSC estimates that for the first six months of 2021 there were 21,450 fatalities recorded. That’s a staggering 16% jump from 2020 (when approximately 18,480 fatalities were recorded in the first half of the year) and a 17% increase from 2019.
In terms of the estimated mileage death rate for the first half of 2021, NSC data indicates 1.43 deaths are occurring for every 100 vehicle miles traveled. That represents a 3% increase from the first half of 2020 (at 1.39 deaths per 100 vehicle miles traveled) and a whopping 24% increase from 2019.
Furthermore, the estimated number of nonfatal medically consulted injuries resulting from car crashes during in the first six months of 2021 was 2,445,000. A ‘medically consulted injury’ is defined as one serious enough that a medical professional had to be consulted.
Overall, the estimated cost of motor vehicle deaths, injuries, and property damage in the first half of 2021 was $241.9 billion, according to NSC data.
Data from the NSC indicates that for the first six months of 2021, eight states saw an increase of 30% or more in term of year-over-year motor vehicle deaths.
Those states include:
“These figures are not only alarming but devastating as we see once again too many lives lost on the roads,” Martin said in a statement. “It is up to each and every one of us to do everything we can to be safe and keep each other safe.”
While eight states saw sharp increases in motor vehicle fatalities for the first half of 2021, others recorded decreases.
Those states that recorded decreasing year-over-year motor vehicle fatality numbers for the first half of 2021 include:
After 42,000 motor vehicle deaths were recorded in 2020, NSC vice president Mark Chung cautioned the nation that the roads were becoming more dangerous.
“We need to help each other in making the roads in our communities safer for all users,” Chung said in a statement. “If you witness unsafe driving behaviors, say something if you are able and possibly save someone from losing their life.”
Complete data for 2021 is expected to be released by the NSC in the spring of 2022.
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