Preliminary Semiannual Estimates

Deaths up 16% as mileage starts to rebound in first six months of 2021

The National Safety Council (NSC) estimate of total motor-vehicle deaths for the first six months of 2021 is 21,450, up 16% from 18,480 in 2020 and up 17% from 18,384 in 2019. Mileage in the first six months of 2021 rebounded 13% from COVID lows in 2020 but still lags 2019 mileage by nearly 6%. The estimated mileage death rate in 2021 is 1.43 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, up 3% from 1.39 in 2020 and up 24% from 1.39 in 2019.

medically consulted injury is an injury serious enough that a medical professional was consulted. Based on the current medically consulted injury-to-death ratio of 114:1, and rounded to the nearest thousand, the estimated number of nonfatal medically consulted injuries resulting from crashes during in the first six months of 2021 was 2,445,000.

The estimated cost of motor-vehicle deaths, injuries, and property damage in the first half of 2021 was $241.9 billion.

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reports the official mortality estimates for the United States and is used as a comparison to judge the accuracy of NSC preliminary estimates. The publication of NCHS final mortality estimates generally lags about one year. The most recent NCHS official estimate shows 18,384 deaths occurring in the first six months of 2019. This compares to the NSC initial estimate of 18,580 with a difference of 307 deaths (1% difference).

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