The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on October 28, 2021 released the Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities for the First Half (January–June) of 2021 showing the largest six-month increase ever recorded in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System’s history. An estimated 20,160 people died in motor vehicle crashes in the first half of 2021, up 18.4% over 2020. That’s the largest number of projected fatalities in that time period since 2006.
More than 20,000 people died on U.S. roads in the first six months of 2021.United States Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced the Department’s first ever National Roadway Safety Strategy to identify action steps for everyone working to save lives on the road.
In addition to the traffic fatality data, NHTSA also released behavioral research findings from March 2020 through June 2021, indicating that incidents of speeding and traveling without a seatbelt remain higher than during pre-pandemic times.
Preliminary data from the Federal Highway Administration (“FHWA”) show that vehicle miles traveled in the first half of 2021 increased by about 173.1 billion miles, or about 13%. The fatality rate for the first half of 2021 increased to 1.34 fatalities per 100 million VMT, up from the projected rate of 1.28 fatalities per 100 million VMT in the first half of 2020.
FHWA has issued nine new Proven Safety Countermeasures, which are road design elements that are proven to make roads safer for all users, but are underutilized. The new Proven Safety Countermeasures supported by FHWA are: rectangular rapid flashing beacons, crosswalk visibility enhancements, bicycle lanes, lighting, pavement friction management, wider edge lines, variable speed limits, appropriate speed limit-setting, and speed safety cameras. With these additions, there are now a total of 28 Proven Safety Countermeasures.
See all of the Proven Safety Countermeasures FHWA supports at: https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/provencountermeasures/. Information on FHWA’s Focused Approach to Safety Program can be found at https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/fas/.
Contact experienced New York wrongful death attorneys Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC at (716) 333-5144 if a member of your family has died in a traffic accident.