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NHTSA Estimates Fewer Car Crash Fatalities in 2019

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car accident. Fewer car crash fatalities in 2019
Car accident
Photo: Tumisu via Pixabay

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is currently in the process of determining how many car accidents occurred last year. While it’s too early to know for sure, the NHTSA’s current research seems to indicate that there were fewer car crash fatalities in 2019.

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Estimates on 2019 vehicular incidents

Back in 2016, 37,806 people died as a result of car accidents in the United States. The NHTSA estimates that 36,120 died from crashes in 2019. If the NHTSA’s estimates are correct, 2019 will have been the third year in a row that the number of car crash fatalities declined.

For 2019, preliminary numbers are showing noteworthy decreases across five categories in particular. The Fatality Analysis Reporting System has recorded a 3 percent drop in pedal-cyclist and driver deaths, a 1 percent drop in motorcyclist deaths, a 2 percent decrease in pedestrian deaths, and a 4 percent decline in passenger deaths.

Furthermore, the vehicle miles traveled (VMT) increased by 0.9 percent last year, making the potential decrease in fatalities even greater news. If the numbers hold up, 2019 will have had the second-lowest fatality rate ever recorded by the NHTSA with 1.10 deaths per 100 million VMT. The NHTSA hasn’t given a reason for the decline, but innovative safety technologies could be to thank.

Deaths involving one or more trucks is, unfortunately, a figure that seems to have risen last year by 1 percent. The NHTSA’s pedestrian fatalities estimate also currently contrasts with the Governors Highway Safety Association’s estimate that these fatalities didn’t decrease by 2 percent but rather increased from 6,283 in 2018 to 6,590 in 2019.

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The NHTSA will release its official report on 2019 vehicular incidents at a later date this year. When the final figures are available, we at The News Wheel will let you know if car crash fatalities did decline overall, as the preliminary numbers indicate.