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Estimated Traffic Deaths in First Half of 2021 the Highest in 15 Years

WASHINGTON – Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is devastated to learn that estimated traffic fatalities in the first half of 2021 are the highest they have been since 2006, according to new data released today by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The rise in traffic deaths is the largest six-month increase in the history of NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). Preliminary estimates show that 20,160 people died on America’s roads through June 2021, an 18.4% increase over 2019, due in large part to speeding, impaired driving and not wearing seatbelts, according to NHTSA.

“This nightmare on our roads needs to stop,” said Alex Otte, National President of MADD which represents 1 million victims of drunk and drugged driving. “Traffic safety enforcement has been cut and we are seeing the horrific consequences. A shortage of officers has resulted in the elimination of DUI task forces in some cities.”

Drunk driving is the No. 1 killer on our nation’s roads, and recent NHTSA studies show an increase in the presence of other drugs in drivers who are tested. In 2019, the most recent FARS data available, 10,142 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes.

“Behind every one of these tragedies are families left with shattered lives,” Otte said. “As we head into the holiday season when roads get even busier, we are begging drivers to slow down, make sure they and their passengers are wearing a seatbelt, or using a child safety seat, and please, never drive while impaired by alcohol or other drugs.”

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 400,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.

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