American Roads Are Getting Significantly Deadlier: NHTSA

Despite driving fewer miles way more Americans died on the road in the first quarter of 2021

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Image: NHTSA

2020 was a super deadly year for traffic accidents. Despite the pandemic keeping a lot of us off the roads for much of the year and driving way less than normal, incidents of death were up something like 8 percent across the board. A lot of that had to do with increased speeds, increases in substance abuse, and apparently massive increases in people not wearing their safety belts.

Early indications seem to point to 2021 being significantly worse than last year, which was already super deadly. According to the NHTSA, traffic deaths increased in the first three months of 2021 by 10.5 percent! That’s double digits! And the number of miles driven actually fell by a further 2.1 percent.


On Thursday the NHTSA indicated a count of 8,730 people having died in traffic-related crashes across the first quarter of the year. Compared to the same time period in 2020, that’s up 830 additional deaths from 7,900.

Cars are massive battering rams of potential vehicular manslaughter, and it’s important to recognize how easy it can be to accidentally take someone else’s life, or even lose your own, with a split second bad choice behind the wheel. You are driving a weapon around. Imagine if you walked around with a pistol on your hip every day and if you weren’t paying attention for a second and bumped into someone on the sidewalk, it jumped out of your pocket and shot the other person and you in the head. That’s virtually what you’re risking when you fuck around while driving.


Driving is not a right in America, it is a privilege, and people need to act like it. Wear your fucking seat belt. Hang up your fucking phone. Slow the fuck down. Don’t fucking drink and drive. Pay fucking attention. We all have to work together to help drive these numbers down again. Be safe out there, it’s fucking dangerous.