Big Firm Services with

Small Firm Personal Attention

Estimates show 2021 traffic deaths reached a 16-year high

On Behalf of | Jun 8, 2022 | personal injury |

An estimated 42,915 Americans died in traffic accidents in 2012 according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration preliminary estimates. This is the highest number of accident deaths since 2005 and the greatest yearly increase in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System’s history.

Major findings

The fatalities reported in 2021 show a 10.5% rise from the 38,824 deaths from motor vehicle accidents in 2020, according to the NHTSA’s data. According to the Federal Highway Administration, the number of vehicle miles traveled in 2021 rose by 325 billion miles or 11.2% compared to 2020.

There were 1.33 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. This was a slight decrease from 1.34 fatalities in 2020.

The figures are disturbing in many categories:

  • Multi-vehicle accident deaths rose 16%.
  • Urban road deaths increased 16%.
  • Deaths among drivers 65 years and older rose 14%.
  • Pedestrian deaths rose 13%.
  • Fatalities in accidents involving at least one large truck increased by 13%.
  • Daytime traffic deaths up 11%.
  • Motorcycle accident deaths up 9%.
  • Bicyclist deaths rose 5%.
  • Speeding-related accident fatalities up 5%.
  • Alcohol impairment accident deaths up 5%.


Forty-four states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico had more traffic fatalities in 2021 compared to 2020.

But Maryland bucked this national trend even though it suffered all too many fatalities. Traffic deaths dropped 4.4%. There were 567 deaths in 2020 compared to 542 in 2021.

Victims of traffic accidents may suffer devastating, costly and life-altering injuries. Attorneys can assist victims and their families seek compensation for their losses.  


FindLaw Network