U.S. Traffic Fatalities Fell In 2019 For Third Straight Year

 Tuesday, May 5, 2020


U.S. traffic deaths fell in 2019 for the third straight year even as overall road use increased, according to preliminary government data released Tuesday.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported an estimated 36,120 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes last year, down 1.2% from 36,560 in 2018, even as travel rose 0.9% to 3.23 trillion miles.

The fatality rate was 1.10 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, down from 1.13 in 2018. Last year was tied for the second lowest annual fatality rate in U.S. history.

“We’ve continued focusing on the behaviors that we all know are unsafe: failing to wear a seat belt, speeding, driving while impaired, driving while distracted,” Deputy NHTSA Administrator James Owens said in an interview.

As recently as 2007, 41,259 people died on U.S. roads and the fatality rate was 1.36 per 100 million vehicle miles, and 51,091 people died in 1980 when the fatality rate was three times higher than the current rate.