The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has projected that an estimated 42,915 people have died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in their 2021 report. This is a 10.5% increase from 2020, when 38,824 deaths were reported, and an 18% increase from 2019, when 36,355 were reported. Additionally, this number represents the highest number of fatalities since 2005 and is the highest annual percentage increase in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) since 1975.

Data estimates that forty-four states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico are all projected to have had an increase in traffic deaths, as compared to 2020. It is projected that Texas had the highest amount of deaths in 2021 at 4,573, which is an 18% change from 2020, when

3,874 deaths were reported.

“Every life lost is a tragedy, and we all can, should, and must do more to change the culture” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Dr. Steve Cliff.

Furthermore, the traffic fatalities in the following categories showed significant increases in 2021 as compared to 2020.

  • Fatalities in multi-vehicle crashes 16%
  • Fatalities on urban roads 16%
  • Fatalities among drivers 65 and older 14%
  • Fatalities in crashes involving at least one large or semi-truck 13%
  • Daytime fatalities 11%
  • Motorcyclist fatalities 9%
  • Bicyclist fatalities 5%
  • Fatalities in speeding-related crashes 5%
  • Fatalities in police-reported alcohol involvement 5%