2021 U.S. Road Fatalities Projected Highest in 16 Years, Delaware at 15-year High

An estimated 43,000 people were killed on U.S. roads last year, the highest number in 16 years according to data released this week by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The 10.5% jump over 2020 numbers was the largest percentage increase since NHTSA began its fatality accounting in 1975.

The 139 fatalities on Delaware roads were the highest number since 2006, and included 30 pedestrians, 24 motorcyclists, and two bicyclists.
This year is seeing a continued escalation with 56 fatalities already occurring year to date in 2022, a 62% increase over the same time period last year. Should this trend continue, it will be the most fatalities on Delaware roads since 2004.

“Sadly, this national data is not surprising given what we are seeing happen on Delaware roads,” said Secretary of Transportation Nicole Majeski. “DelDOT is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in projects each year to make our roads safer, but there’s only so much we can from an engineering standpoint. We need everyone to do their part when it comes to safety.”

“Every person should reach their destinations and then return home safely each day,” said Governor John Carney. “The busy summer season is almost upon us and there will be even more people on the roads – driving, walking, biking – let’s all work to keep safety in mind to prevent more tragedies.”

DelDOT and its partners in highway safety are constantly working to combat traffic fatalities and serious injuries on Delaware roadways through multiple efforts, such as the 2021-2025 Delaware Strategic Highway Safety Plan, as one death on our roads is too many. This Plan, developed through multi-agency coordination, has nine emphasis areas and provides a framework to reduce fatalities and serious injuries resulting from crashes on Delaware’s roadways.