Traffic safety did not improve with the reopening of the economy last year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued preliminary estimates that there was a 12 percent increase in traffic deaths for the first nine months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.
There were an estimated 31,720 traffic fatalities in this country from Jan. to Sept. 2021, according to the NHTSA’s preliminary data. During that period in 2020, there were 28,325 crash deaths. The estimated fatalities from car accidents and other crashes for the first nine months of 2021 was the highest for that period since 2006 since this data was collected as part of the Fatality Analysis Reporting System.
The NHTSA also predicted that fatalities rose in 38 states for that period in 2021 compared to one year earlier. Deaths remained at the same level in two states and dropped in 10 states and the District of Columbia.
The number of vehicle miles traveled in the first nine months of 2021 increased by 11.7 percent or approximately 244 billion miles compared to 2020. The number of deaths rose to 1.36 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled which was a slight increase from 1.35 fatalities for that time in 2020 and indicates that traffic deaths remained high during the shutdown. The fatality rates for the second and third quarters of 2021 dropped compared to 2020.
Florida’s data show increase
Traffic deaths also increased sharply in Florida, according to the NHTSA’s estimates. Fatalities rose from 2,417 for the first nine months of 2020 by 17.5 percent to 2,839 crash deaths for that period in 2021, according to NHTSA preliminary estimates.
The southeast region of the United States also had substantial increases. Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee had a 14 percent rise.
This data shows that the risk of serious injury or even death from vehicle accidents persists. Attorneys can help accident victims and their families seek compensation from negligent or reckless drivers.