U.S. Traffic Deaths Down in 2019
U.S. traffic deaths decreased nationwide in 2019 with a fatality rate the lowest it’s been since 2014, according to annual data released from NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System. Fatality related crashes dropped 2% compared to 2018, even as travel rose approximately 0.8%. Alcohol related fatalities also decreased to the lowest levels since 1982.
NHTSA also released a supplementary report supporting it estimates for 2020 traffic fatalities and the role that COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders played. “While the number of traffic fatalities during April-June are projected to decrease, there is a projected increase in the proportion of fatalities in rural areas, among people ages 16 to 24, with risky drivers, in rollovers and ejections, and among occupants of vehicles 10 years old or older. However, traffic deaths among older people are expected to decrease in 2020 because they may have stayed home during the pandemic.” Expectations suggest that travel patterns were greatly altered by the pandemic, in turn impacting fatality rates.