NHTSA reports that road fatalities are declining
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NHTSA reports that road fatalities are declining

Great news for road safety in our country as road fatalities continue to decline, a trend that began in 2022. According to preliminary data recently released by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

NHTSA says its early predictions Road fatalities in 2024. An estimated 8,650 people died in road accidents in the first three months of the year. This is a decrease of about 3.2% compared to the 8,935 estimated fatalities in the same three-month period in 2023. Federal safety regulators say preliminary first-quarter data marks the eighth consecutive quarterly decline in traffic fatalities, a trend that began in the second quarter of 2022.

The projected decline in road fatalities is driven by a 0.6% increase in vehicle miles traveled from January to March. The estimated fatality rate for the first three months of 2024 fell to 1.13 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, compared with a projected rate of 1.18 fatalities for the same period in 2023.

“We are encouraged that traffic fatalities continue to decline, but more must be done to reduce these preventable tragedies on our roadways,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Sophie Shulman. “NHTSA is working hard to save lives and ensure our roadways are safe for everyone inside and outside of vehicles.”

NHTSA estimates that fatalities decreased in 30 states and Puerto Rico in the first quarter of 2024, while fatalities are projected to increase in 19 states and the District of Columbia compared with the same period in 2023. In one state, the number of fatalities remained unchanged.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation released its 2024 Progress Report, marking two years since the release of the original National Highway Traffic Safety Strategy on January 27, 2022. Adopting a safe systems approach across the Department remains the foundation for implementing NRSS and is critical to addressing the fatality crisis on our roadways. The Progress Report provides an update on the Department’s efforts to address serious and fatal injuries on our roadways and details the Department’s accomplishments as it moves forward with NRSS in 2023. Highlights for 2023 include:

  • $1.7 billion in funding was awarded to improve road safety at the local, regional, and tribal levels through the Safe Streets and Roads for All discretionary grant program. More than 1,000 communities received funding, representing nearly 70 percent of all Americans.
  • The rollout of new vehicle safety technologies has been accelerated by introducing regulations for automatic emergency braking, including for pedestrians, in all new passenger vehicles, as well as heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks.
  • Preparation of an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on drink-driving prevention technology standards has begun to inform requirements that will discourage behaviors such as drink-driving.
  • Key traffic safety regulations have been updated, including a new edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and revised guidelines to encourage states receiving federal funding to use reconstruction and rehabilitation projects to improve safety for all road users.
  • Expanded use and support of the National Emergency Medical Services Information System, accepting data from all 50 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia.
  • We welcomed more than 123 organizations to join the NRSS Allies in Action, including 36 state transportation agencies and safety offices.
NHTSA reports that road fatalities are declining

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