The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Wednesday released preliminary estimates for 2019 data on highway crashes.
The U.S. saw a decline in traffic deaths during 2017 and 2018. The newest estimates suggest a continuing decline in traffic-related deaths. A data projection of traffic fatalities for 2019 shows an estimated 36,120 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. The data shows decreases of about 440 (1.2%) from the reported 36,560 fatalities in 2018. This is in spite of vehicle miles traveled increasing 0.9%.
“Safety is our top priority so this report that traffic fatalities appear to have decreased again for the third year is great news,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
Fatalities decreased in most traffic safety categories:
- Cyclists decreased by 3%.
- Drivers decreased by 3%.
- Motorcyclists decreased by 1%.
- Passengers decreased by 4%.
- Pedestrians decreased by 2%.
The fatality counts and percentage change for 2018 and 2019 will be revised by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as the final file for 2018 and the annual reporting file for 2019 becomes available later this year.