Periodically, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gathers and publishes statistics regarding fatal motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. In June of 2021, the NHTSA released its preliminary estimates of accident fatalities across the nation, and the outlook is grim.

In 2019, the NHTSA reported that motor vehicle accident fatalities had dropped significantly from previous years. However, preliminary crash reports show that fatal accidents are once again on the rise. Motorists in Los Angeles may need to adjust their driving behaviors to avoid harmful motor vehicle accidents.


Possibly the most dramatic finding from the preliminary report estimates that 2020 saw the highest projected number of accident fatalities since 2007. Other findings from the early report include:

  • Citizens drove less in 2020, but the number of fatal crashes rose.
  • The fatality rate for passenger vehicle occupants rose by 5% from 2019.
  • The fatality rate for motorcyclists rose by 9% from 2019.
  • The rate of vehicle occupant ejection rose by 20% from 2019.
  • The fatality rate for rollover car accidents rose by 9% from 2019.
  • The number of fatal crashes on urban interstates rose by 15% from 2019.
  • The number of fatalities in alcohol-involved crashes reported by law enforcement rose by 9% from the previous year.

In one piece of good news, the preliminary report projects that fatal truck accidents declined by about 2%. The report also estimates that accident fatalities involving senior citizens dropped by about 9%.

Now more than ever, victims should report auto accidents to ensure the figures collected by the NHTSA are accurate. When we all know the scope of the nation’s vehicle accident problem, our leaders can continue making progress in reducing the driving risks for all.

If you have suffered injuries in a crash, learning more about California vehicle accident compensation laws can make a difference in your recovery.