Consistent Decline Reported In US Traffic Deaths

The United States has witnessed consistent decline in traffic fatalities for the past year, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

As per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) first projections for traffic fatalities in 2023, a total of 9,330 people are estimated to have died in traffic crashes in the first quarter of the year.

This marks a decrease of about 3.3 percent as compared to 9,645 estimated fatalities during the same period in the previous year.

Notably, this is the fourth straight quarterly decline in fatalities after seven consecutive quarters of year-to-year increases in fatalities, beginning with the third quarter of 2020.

“After spiking during the pandemic, traffic deaths have been on a slow but consistent decline for the past year,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

“This is an encouraging sign as we work to reverse the rise in roadway deaths, but there is much more work ahead to reinforce this downward trend and make it permanent,” he added.

The projected decrease occurred alongside a 2.6 percent increase in vehicle miles traveled. The estimated fatality rate for the first three months of 2023 decreased to 1.24 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.

NHTSA estimates that for the first three months of 2023, deaths from traffic accidents fell in 32 states, while 18 states and Puerto Rico have projected increases in fatalities.

In January last year, Secretary Buttigieg unveiled the Department of Transportation’s National Roadway Safety Strategy to address the national crisis in traffic fatalities and serious injuries.

The Department is taking a number of roadway safety measures including Issuing a proposed rulemaking on advance pedestrian Automatic Emergency Braking, Releasing proposals for upgrades and a “road map” for the New Car Assessment Program, Issuing a final rule on rear impact guards, and Establishing the cross-agency work group to issue the Complete Streets Report to Congress: Moving to a Complete Streets Design Model.

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