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Preliminary estimates for first half of 2021 show motor vehicle deaths up again this year

Preliminary estimates for motor vehicle fatalities for the first six months of 2021 are up 16% over the same period in 2020, the National Safety Council (NSC) reported this morning.

The estimate for the first six months of 2021 is also 17% higher than the 2019 figures, according to NSC, which tracks that and other data on injuries. NSC is a nonprofit safety advocate focused on workplace, roadway and impairment issues.

The group noted that mileage for the first half of 2021 was up 13% over the low point in 2020 due to COVID-19. However, this year’s mileage was still almost 6% below travel mileage in 2019.

The raw data for NSC estimates of motor vehicle fatalities the first six months of the year showed: 21,450 deaths in 2021, 18,480 in 2020 and 18,384 in 2019.

“These figures are not only alarming but devastating as we see once again too many lives lost on the roads,” said Lorraine Martin, NSC president and CEO. “It is up to each and every one of us to do everything we can to be safe and keep each other safe. NSC implores every person to take safe driving practices seriously; they could be the difference between someone living or dying.”

NSC also reported preliminary estimates broken down by state, noting that while Alaska, Connecticut, Kansas, Maine, Rhode Island and Wisconsin saw decreases in deaths in the first half of this year, eight states are estimated to have increased fatalities by 30% or more as follows:

  • Oregon - 51% or 88 more deaths
  • South Dakota - 51% or 22 more deaths
  • Minnesota - 41% or 61 more deaths
  • Idaho- 39% or 30 more deaths
  • Nevada - 38% or 50 more deaths
  • Utah - 36% or 40 more deaths
  • Vermont - 33% or seven more deaths
  • Tennessee - 30% or 156 more deaths
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