Traffic fatalities fell slightly from the 2020 peak, but 2021 left 8 bicyclists dead; the highest number of bicyclists killed in 24 years.
While total number of traffic fatalities is less than the 166 folks who died from traffic violence in 2020, take little comfort; 2021 was another devastating year on Philadelphia’s streets. The total number of people who did lose their life in 2021 is a 47% increase from the pre-pandemic four-year annual average of about 90 traffic deaths.
For bicyclists, 2021 was the worst year on record. Eight bicyclists died in 2021, the highest number since 1997 when PennDOT started to provide a breakdown of bicyclists killed by county.
Roosevelt Boulevard recorded 11 fatalities. 24 of the people who died were killed by drivers who fled the scene, meaning hit-and-runs account for almost 20% of all people killed in traffic crashes.
It was also a devastating year for Pennsylvania. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that traffic deaths in the Commonwealth jumped 9% in the first 9 months of 2021 compared to 2020. This in spite of the small reduction in traffic deaths that occurred in Philadelphia. Nationally, traffic deaths increased by 12% during this same time period.