NHTSA Estimates Traffic Fatalities Continued to Rise at Record Pace in First Nine Months of 2021

First published by USDOT

USDOT’s recently announced National Roadway Safety Strategy provides blueprint for action addressing crisis in traffic fatalities

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released its early estimate of traffic fatalities for the first nine months of 2021.

NHTSA projects that an estimated 31,720 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes from January through September 2021, an increase of approximately 12% from the 28,325 fatalities projected in the first nine months of 2020. The projection is the highest number of fatalities during the first nine months of any year since 2006 and the highest percentage increase during the first nine months in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System’s history.

The new estimates come days after the U.S. Department of Transportation released the federal government’s new, comprehensive National Roadway Safety Strategy, a roadmap to address the national crisis in roadway fatalities and serious injuries by building multiple layers of protection with safer roads, safer people, safer vehicles, safer speeds, and better post-crash care. The strategy is complemented by unprecedented safety funding included in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

“People make mistakes, but human mistakes don’t always have to be lethal. In a well-designed system, safety measures make sure that human fallibility does not lead to human fatalities,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “That’s what we will be doing for America’s roads with the National Roadway Safety Strategy and the safe system approach that it embraces.”

“We have to change a culture that accepts as inevitable the loss of tens of thousands of people in traffic crashes,” said Dr. Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s Deputy Administrator. “This will require a transformational and collaborative approach to safety on our nation’s roads.”

The early estimate report released today also provides the first look at state-level traffic fatality estimates during the pandemic. Compared to 2020, NHTSA projects that during the first nine months of 2021, fatalities increased in 38 states, remained flat in two states, and decreased in 10 states and the District of Columbia.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, vehicle miles traveled in the first nine months of 2021 increased by about 244 billion miles, an 11.7% increase from the same time in 2020.

The fatality rate for the first nine months of 2021 increased to 1.36 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, a marginal increase from the projected rate of 1.35 fatalities in the same time in 2020. However, the fatality rates in the second and third quarters of 2021 declined compared to 2020.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Traffic Fatalities

Arizona sees 1,057 traffic fatalities despite sharp decline in total crashes in 2020
Fatalities rose to 12-year high despite fewer motorists on roads during pandemic

Crash data graphicPHOENIX – With noticeable reductions in traffic volume during parts of 2020 due to the pandemic, the total number of crashes on all Arizona roadways fell sharply. Despite that, the number of traffic fatalities rose to their highest levels in 12 years, according to the most recent Arizona Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report published Thursday, July 29.

The number of those killed in traffic collisions rose from 980 in 2019 to 1,057 in 2020, while the total number of traffic crashes came in under 100,000 for the first time since 1993. The report also shows that Arizonans traveled an estimated nearly 5 billion fewer miles in 2020 – a 7% decrease from 2019.

The Arizona Department of Transportation produces the annual Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report, which is a compilation of traffic crash reports provided by law enforcement agencies around the state. The report reflects crash data for all Arizona roadways, including city streets, county roads, reservation roads and state highways.

The 2020 report shows a decline across all categories in terms of number of crashes and injuries as one might expect from a year where travel was reduced and remote working and learning increased. However, the majority of the categories that track fatalities showed an increase, including deaths from speed-related crashes and lane-departure crashes and deaths from those not wearing seatbelts.

The rise in traffic fatalities last year illustrates that real change must begin in the driver’s seat as driver behavior is a major factor in traffic collisions.

Reducing crashes, fatalities and injuries can’t be solved by state agencies alone because more than two-thirds of crashes occur on roads other than state highways.

Two categories that saw fewer fatalities in 2020 than 2019 were alcohol-related and motorcycle-related crashes. Alcohol-related fatalities continued the trend over the last few years, declining to 181 deaths in 2020 compared to 258 in 2019 – a 30% decrease. Alcohol-related fatalities decreased by 21% from 2017 to 2019. Motorcycle-related fatalities saw a decrease from 170 deaths in 2019 to 160 in 2020.

The 2020 Arizona Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report is available at azdot.gov/CrashFacts.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

‘Multifaceted resolution’: NSC voices support for Road to Zero Resolution

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

new-nsc-logo.jpg

Itasca, IL — The National Safety Council has announced its support of the bicameral resolution on eliminating traffic fatalities by 2050, introduced July 27 in the Senate by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and in the House by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).

Roadway fatalities have been a leading killer in the United States for decades. NSC estimates 42,060 people lost their lives in motor vehicle incidents in 2020 – the highest number in more than a decade.

As outlined in the resolution, NSC calls on federal policymakers to take several actions to reach the goal of zero deaths on the roads by 2050, including:

  • Committing to the advancement of policies that will end roadway fatalities – such as prioritizing the safety of all roadway users in infrastructure design by clearly marking lanes for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles; installing rumble strips; using traffic circles; and advancing safety technology.
  • Setting a goal of zero traffic fatalities at the Department of Transportation to govern decision-making.
  • Recognizing the need for a safe systems approach in U.S. transportation, including improving access, safety and mobility for all roadway users.
  • Changing how we talk about traffic incidents by calling them “crashes,” not “accidents.”

NSC implores Congress to consider how this multifaceted resolution will serve all Americans, how its prioritization is needed to saves lives on our roadways and how it will allow great strides to be taken on the path to zero traffic fatalities by 2050.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

NSC estimates 724 people will die in roadway crashes over Christmas, New Year’s holidays

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

See the source imageItasca, IL — An estimated 340 people will be killed on the nation’s roads during the Christmas holiday weekend, and another 384 over New Year’s weekend. Many of those lives could be saved, however, if travelers buckled up, according to the National Safety Council.

All vehicle occupants should wear their seat belts – doing so could save as many as 287 lives over both holiday periods, the council estimates. Additionally, parents and guardians are advised to check child car seats to ensure they’re properly installed.

The Christmas holiday period begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 24, and ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 27. The New Year’s holiday period begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31, and ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 3.

Driving sober also will also play a critical role in saving lives, as alcohol typically is involved in 37% and 39% of traffic fatalities over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday periods, respectively, NSC says.

Other recommendations:

“A safe travel season could help instill much-needed hope as we start a new year and close an unrelenting one,” NSC President and CEO Lorraine M. Martin said in a press release. “We can all do our part by buckling up, driving sober, slowing down, avoiding distractions and looking out for one another.”


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.