NHTSA: Roadway Fatalities Decreasing

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Oct. 22, 2019—The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today released highway crash fatality data for 2018, showing a 2.4 percent decline in overall fatalities. 

The data, compiled by NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), show that highway fatalities decreased in 2018 with 913 fewer fatalities, down to 36,560 people from 37,473 people in 2017. The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled also decreased by 3.4 percent (from 1.17 in 2017 to 1.13 in 2018), the lowest fatality rate since 2014.

The NHTSA is identifying opportunities to leverage its resources and collaborate with modal partners within USDOT to reduce fatalities among pedestrians and cyclists, among whom 2018 fatalities increased by 3.4 percent (to 6,283) and 6.3 percent (to 857), respectively.

Other findings from the 2018 FARS data include:

  • Fatalities among children (14 and younger) declined 10.3 percent; 
  • Alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities declined 3.6 percent; 
  • Speeding-related fatalities declined 5.7 percent; and 
  • Motorcyclist fatalities declined 4.7 percent.

To address the numbers the NHTSA is examining current and planned research related to these vulnerable road users, including recently announced plans for upgrades to the New Car Assessment Program. 

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