Highway Deaths Increasing Despite Drop in Miles, Says NHTSA

The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 8,730 people died in motor vehicle collisions in the first quarter of 2021 alone. The agency claims this figure is a 10.5% increase in deadly accidents for Q1 this year compared to last, even though vehicle miles traveled (VMT) decreased by 2.1% (about 14.9 billion miles).

The fatality increase is even more concerning when compared to data from earlier years. For example, Q3 of 2020 saw a nearly 15% increase in traffic fatalities, the most severe since 1979. 

These data are also broken down by geographical region. In 2021, New England saw a 1% increase in fatalities compared to 2020. The Southeast saw an 18% increase in the same time frame, while the Mountain States saw a 28% increase, close to that of the Pacific Northwest and Wyoming, which saw a 27% increase in fatalities.

The only U.S. regions that did not see increases in highway traffic fatalities were the Mid-Atlantic and West North Central states.

The only regions with fewer fatalities than last year were the Mid-Atlantic (-6%) and West North Central (0%).

The latest data has not yet been released, but projections speak to a continued increase in fatalities. Langdon & Emison is a nationally recognized firm specializing in truck and car accident litigation. 

If you or a loved one were injured, or if you’re an attorney looking for a referral opportunity, give us a call at (866) 931-2115.