The nation saw a decline in traffic deaths during 2018 and 2017, which suggests a continuing decline in traffic-related deaths, says data from  the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“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 major traffic safety categories:
•    Drivers (down 3%)
•    Passengers (down 4%)
•    Motorcyclists (down 1%)
•    Pedestrians (down 2%)
•    Pedalcyclists (down 3%)

A statistical projection of traffic fatalities for 2019 shows that an estimated 36,120 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. This represents an estimated decrease of about 440 (down 1.2%) from the reported 36,560 fatalities in 2018, even though Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) increased by 0.9%. As a result, the fatality rate for 2019 was 1.10 fatalities per 100 million VMT, down from 1.13 fatalities per 100 million VMT in 2018.  If these estimates are reflected in the final data, the fatality rate per 100 million VMT would be the second lowest since NHTSA started recording fatal crash data.