It’s always important to be a defensive driver on the roadways and the need to do so is even greater than in previous years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released its early estimates of traffic fatalities for 2021 and projects that an estimated 42,915 people died in motor vehicle crashes last year. This is a 10.5% increase from 2020 and the projection for 2021 is the highest number of fatalities since 2005. It’s also the largest annual increase in the Fatality Analysis Reporting History. Additionally, the report shows that 44 states are all projected to have had an increase in traffic deaths as compared to 2020. Indiana specifically saw an increase from 897 motor fatalities in 2020 to 930 motor vehicle fatalities in 2021. This is an increase of 3.7%.

Traffic fatalities in the following categories showed a large increase throughout the United States in 2021:

• Fatalities in multi-vehicle crashes up 16%
• Fatalities on urban roads up 16%
• Fatalities among drivers 65 and older up 14%
• Pedestrian fatalities up 13%
• Fatalities in crashes involving at least on large truck up 13%
• Daytime fatalities up 11%
• Motorcyclist fatalities up 9%
• Bicyclist fatalities up 5%
• Fatalities in speeding-related crashes up 5%
• Fatalities in police-reported, alcohol-involvement crashes up 5%

Dr. Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s Deputy Administrator, has stated, “The crisis on our roads is urgent and preventable.”

To help reduce motor vehicle fatalities, Indiana’s Government website advises to drive defensively, drive attentively and share the road. Furthermore, if you are in a minor fender bender and can move to the shoulder of the road safely, then you should do so.

When driving around trucks, try to stay out of their blind spot on the vehicle’s passenger side. It’s also important to watch out for smaller vehicles like motorcycles on the road as they can easily be hidden in traffic. Finally, make sure to look out for pedestrians and bicyclists wherever you are driving.

If you or a loved one have been affected by an accident or death, contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Hurst Limontes, LLC. We have decades of combined experience fighting for our clients in any number of personal injury claims. Call 317-636-0808 or email us for a free and confidential consultation.