A motorcyclist died Sunday evening in an accident on south Interstate 5 in Chula Vista, according to the California Highway Patrol. 

The incident occurred at around 5:40 p.m. when the 22-year-old motorcyclist collided with a freeway sign on the shoulder north of H Street. The identity of the deceased person was not immediately disclosed, pending notification of family members. 

Authorities have not determined the cause of the incident. Investigators are awaiting a toxicology report from the county’s Medical Examiner’s office, as reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune. 

Fatalities caused by traffic crashes on U.S. Freeways reached a 16-year high in 2021, according to recent data from the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as crashes increase in every state, including California. The report found that an estimated 31,720 people died in the first nine months of 2021 throughout the nation. 

“The percentage increase in the second quarter of 2021 is actually the highest quarterly percentage increase in Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data recorded history,” reads the report. 

Researchers divided each state into nine regions to assess fatalities in the first nine months of 2020, finding a 17 percent increase in region 9, which corresponds to California and Arizona. 

Preliminary data reported by the Federal Highway Administration show that vehicle miles traveled in 2021 increased by about 325 billion miles, or about 11.2 percent, as compared to 2020. Data estimates show the fatality rate for 2021 was 1.33 fatalities per 100 million VMT, marginally down from 1.34 fatalities in 2020. 

While the fatality rate continued to rise in the first quarter, it declined in the other three quarters of 2021, compared to 2020. 

The report found increases in traffic fatalities in the following categories

  • Fatalities in multi-vehicle crash up 16% 
  • Fatalities on urban roads up 16% 
  • Fatalities among drivers 65 and older up 14% 
  • Pedestrian fatalities up 13% 
  • Fatalities in crashes involving at least one large truck up 13% 
  • Daytime fatalities up 11% 
  • Motorcyclist fatalities up 9% 
  • Bicyclist fatalities up 5% 
  • Fatalities in speeding-related crashes up 5% 
  • Fatalities in police-reported, alcohol-involvement crashes up 5% 

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