The year 2020 was the worst in Illinois history for traffic fatalities. It appears 2021 was even worse, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Illinois had 839 traffic fatalities in 2020. From January 2021 to September 2021, Illinois was on pace to have 993 fatalities for 2021. That is an 18 percent increase, the NHTSA says. And as of February 8, there have been eight more fatalities in 2002 than in 2021.
Nationwide, 2021 had “the highest number of fatalities during the first nine months of the year since 2006 and the highest percentage increase during the first nine months in the recorded history of NHTSA’s records,” which goes back to 1975, according to the NHTSA.
The NHTSA says, “Thirty-eight states are projected to have experienced increases in fatalities during the first nine months of 2021 as compared to the corresponding period in 2020.” Two states were unchanged and 10 states are projected to have decreases from 2020.
Idaho is projected to have the highest percentage increase in fatalities (36.4 percent). Nebraska is projected to have the biggest decrease (18.4 percent).
Crash fatalities for Illinois and neighboring states (2021 numbers are projected):
2020 2021 % Change
Illinois 839 993 18.0
Indiana 639 699 9.4
Iowa 247 264 6.9
Wisconsin 463 463 0.0
Kentucky 580 562 -3.1
NHTSA continues to gather data on crash fatalities for 2021 and will publish the results in late April 2022.