Wisconsin records 594 traffic deaths in 2021, a slight increase, preliminary data shows

Semi Truck Highway Traffic 5
Vehicles travel on U.S. Highway 151 in northeastern Dane County in fall 2021. WISC-TV/Channel 3000.

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin ended the year with 594 fatalities on its roads in 2021, up slightly from the previous year, according to preliminary data from the state’s Department of Transportation.

Data included the agency’s Daily Fatality Report released Monday showed the 594 fatalities stemmed from 548 crashes on public roads in the state.

That number could increase; according to WisDOT’s website, traffic fatalities are reported when a person dies within 30 days of a crash from injuries they suffer in that crash.

The 2021 total is the highest in at least the past six years, according to DOT data. Preliminary data from 2020 recorded 583 traffic fatalities in 532 crashes.

Between 2016 and 2020, the state averaged 571 traffic deaths from 519 crashes.

Three fatal crashes were reported in the first four hours of 2022, including one on State Highway 78 in Dane County and one on Interstate 43 in Rock County.