2019 NHTSA Eary Estimates Reduced Fatalities for 3rd Consecutive Year

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2019 NHTSA Eary Estimates Reduced Fatalities for 3rd Consecutive Year

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May 2020: The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today released preliminary estimates for the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) 2019 data on highway crashes showing a continued decline in traffic fatalities. The nation saw a decline in traffic deaths during 2018 and 2017, and these newest estimates suggest a continuing decline in traffic-related deaths.

“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.

This new data also shows that nine out of 10 NHTSA regions are estimated to have decreases in traffic-related fatalities in 2019.
Figure 1 shows the historical trend of the percentage change in fatalities every quarter from the same quarter in the previous year, going back to 1977. NHTSA has fatality data going back to 1975, and the shading in the chart depicts the years during which there were significant numbers of consecutive quarters with increases/declines as compared to the corresponding quarters of the previous years. The declines during the early 1980s and 1990s lasted 11 consecutive quarters, while the most recent decline occurred over 17 consecutive quarters ending in the second quarter of 2010. Also more recently, a significant increase in fatalities occurred over 10 consecutive quarters ending after the first quarter of 2017.
2019 pct change by quarter.png
2019 pct change by quarter.png (57.29 KiB) Viewed 111 times
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