Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
US Traffic Deaths Fell 2% in 2019; 3rd Straight Yearly Drop
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 4 years ago on
October 3, 2020

Share

DETROIT — Traffic deaths in the U.S. fell for the third consecutive year in 2019, the government’s road safety agency reported.

The downward trend is continuing into this year with people driving fewer miles due to the pandemic, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Thursday.

The agency says deaths fell 2% last year, to 36,096. That’s 739 fewer than the 36,835 fatalities reported to the agency in 2019.

The decrease came even though vehicle miles traveled increased by nearly 1%, reducing the fatality rate to 1.1 per 100 million miles traveled. That was the lowest since 2014.

The agency says pedestrian deaths fell 2.7%, bicyclist fatalities dropped 2.9% and motorcycle deaths dropped 0.5%. Deaths in passenger vehicles fell 2.8%.

But deaths in crashes involving heavy trucks fell by just one, from 5,006 in 2018 to 5,005 last year.

Estimates by the agency show that traffic deaths in the first half of this year fell 2% from the same period in 2019, to 16,550. But traffic volumes fell more than the number of fatal crashes, increasing the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled to 1.25. That’s up from 1.06 for the first half of 2019.

James Owens, NHTSA’s deputy administrator, said the agency is encouraged by the overall declines, but concerned because of a trend since April of increased fatality rates.

“Now more than ever we should be watching ourselves for safe driving practices and encouraging others to do the same,” Owens said in a statement.

The increased fatality rate brought criticism of NHTSA from safety advocates who said there is proven technology such as automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning and lane departure warnings that should be required on vehicles to make roads safer.

NHTSA Said It Is Holding Workshops With State and Local Officials to Address the Safety Concerns

“The U.S. Department of Transportation continues to rely on ineffective voluntary agreements,” Cathy Chase, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, said in a statement.

NHTSA issued a report saying that during the height of the coronavirus restrictions with less traffic on the roads, drivers took more risks including speeding, failing to wear seat belts, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Average speeds increased, and incidents with people caught driving at extreme speeds rose, NHTSA said.

A study of people injured or killed in crashes who were treated at five large trauma centers found that from mid-March to mid-July, almost two-thirds of drivers tested positive for at least one drug, including marijuana, alcohol or opioids. NHTSA said the number of drivers testing positive for opioids nearly doubled after mid-March, compared with the previous six months. Marijuana use was up 50%.

The Governors Highway Safety Association, a group of state highway safety officials, said speeding is a factor in nearly one-third of traffic deaths. But association members reported that during the height of the pandemic, states and communities reduced health risks to police officers by limiting traffic stops.

“This may have led some motorists to believe they could get away with dangerous and aggressive driving, despite the threat to themselves and everyone on the road,” the association said in a statement.

NHTSA said it is holding workshops with state and local officials to address the safety concerns.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Jewish Lobby Presses California Lawmakers to Combat Antisemitism

DON'T MISS

Opinion: How Urban Renewal Ruined Everything

DON'T MISS

California Wine Squeezed Dry: Insiders Say It’s Time to Pull up Acreage

DON'T MISS

Alabama Mercedes Employees Overwhelmingly Vote Against Joining Union, Slowing UAW Effort in South

DON'T MISS

Stock Market Today: Dow Finishes Above 40,000 to Cap Wall Street’s Latest Winning Week

DON'T MISS

Where Do State Lawmakers Stand on War in Gaza, Campus Protests?

DON'T MISS

High-Speed Rail Now Working to Extend Valley Line to 171 Miles

DON'T MISS

Beautify Fresno Combines Dog Adoption, Litter Removal in Unique Saturday Event

DON'T MISS

Bulldogs’ Gilmore Named MW Softball Pitcher of the Year

DON'T MISS

The Latest | Dozens of Israeli Protesters Attack a Truck in an Apparent Effort to Block Gaza Aid

UP NEXT

Billionaires Urged NYC Mayor to Use Police on Columbia Protesters, Chats Reveal

UP NEXT

Lainey Wilson Triumphs at 2024 Academy of Country Music Awards

UP NEXT

California Professor to Stand Trial for Death of Pro-Israel Protester

UP NEXT

Texas Governor Pardons Ex-Army Sergeant Convicted of Killing BLM Protester

UP NEXT

Justice Department Moves to Reclassify Marijuana as Less Dangerous Drug

UP NEXT

Suicide of 10-Year-Old Indiana Boy Linked to Horrific Bullying at School

UP NEXT

‘Mad Max’ Has Lived in George Miller’s Head for 45 Years. He’s Not Done Dreaming Yet.

UP NEXT

US Military Reports First Drop in Sexual Assaults After Years of Increase

UP NEXT

Biden, Trump Agree to Debates in June and September, Logistics Pose Challenges

UP NEXT

US Suggests Possibility of Penalties if Production of Chinese Electric Vehicles Moves to Mexico

Alabama Mercedes Employees Overwhelmingly Vote Against Joining Union, Slowing UAW Effort in South

3 hours ago

Stock Market Today: Dow Finishes Above 40,000 to Cap Wall Street’s Latest Winning Week

4 hours ago

Where Do State Lawmakers Stand on War in Gaza, Campus Protests?

4 hours ago

High-Speed Rail Now Working to Extend Valley Line to 171 Miles

4 hours ago

Beautify Fresno Combines Dog Adoption, Litter Removal in Unique Saturday Event

6 hours ago

Bulldogs’ Gilmore Named MW Softball Pitcher of the Year

6 hours ago

The Latest | Dozens of Israeli Protesters Attack a Truck in an Apparent Effort to Block Gaza Aid

7 hours ago

Computer Science, History Students Selected for Fresno State’s Highest Academic Honors

7 hours ago

$20 Billion: The Delta Tunnel’s New Price Tag

7 hours ago

NFL Distances from Chiefs Kicker Butker’s Commencement Remarks

7 hours ago

Jewish Lobby Presses California Lawmakers to Combat Antisemitism

Hundreds of members of a Jewish lobbying group met with more than 100 California legislators, with combatting antisemitism at the top of the...

1 hour ago

1 hour ago

Jewish Lobby Presses California Lawmakers to Combat Antisemitism

2 hours ago

Opinion: How Urban Renewal Ruined Everything

2 hours ago

California Wine Squeezed Dry: Insiders Say It’s Time to Pull up Acreage

3 hours ago

Alabama Mercedes Employees Overwhelmingly Vote Against Joining Union, Slowing UAW Effort in South

4 hours ago

Stock Market Today: Dow Finishes Above 40,000 to Cap Wall Street’s Latest Winning Week

4 hours ago

Where Do State Lawmakers Stand on War in Gaza, Campus Protests?

Hanford Viaduct High-Speed Rail Construction
4 hours ago

High-Speed Rail Now Working to Extend Valley Line to 171 Miles

6 hours ago

Beautify Fresno Combines Dog Adoption, Litter Removal in Unique Saturday Event

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend