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2021 Fatality estimates released by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Projected fatalities rose 10.5 percent over 2020, but fatality rate dropped slightly

Posted May 20, 2022

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released early estimates of 2021 traffic fatalities and fatality rate. Although overall fatalities are projected to increase 10.5 percent over 2020, the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) dropped slightly from 1.34 to 1.33.

Fatalities resulting from a crash involving at least one large truck (commercial and non-commercial trucks with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or more) are estimated to have increased 13 percent in 2021, as compared to 2020. Other significant findings include an estimated increase of 12 percent in driver fatalities (all vehicle types) and a 13 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities.

These numbers are based on crashes that have been coded into NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) so far for 2021. The estimates may change as more cases are entered and as the 2020 fatality counts are finalized.

The NHTSA report can be viewed online at

This article was written by Jen Loomis of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

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