NHTSA: Traffic Fatalities Dip for Eighth Straight Quarter Amid Safety Progress

Rear view of a highway with multiple lanes of traffic.

The expected death rate for the initial quarter of 2024 dropped to 1.13 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its first projections for traffic fatalities in 2024, estimating that 8,650 people died in traffic crashes in the first three months of the year.

The current estimate represents a decrease of about 3.2% compared to 8,935 estimated fatalities during the same period in 2023.

The first quarter preliminary data marks the eighth consecutive quarterly decline in traffic fatalities, a trend that began in the second quarter of 2022.

The anticipated decline occurs with a 0.6% rise in vehicle miles covered between January and March. The expected death rate for the initial quarter of 2024 dropped to 1.13 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, down from the projected rate of 1.18 deaths during the same period in 2023.

These traffic fatality statistics are invaluable for commercial fleets as they highlight the impact of safety improvements and technologies on reducing accidents, which guide fleets in prioritizing investments in vehicle safety features and driver training programs. 

Moreover, the trends provide insights into the effectiveness of roadway safety strategies, allowing fleet managers to adjust their operational practices to enhance the safety of their drivers and other road users further.

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

USDOT Progress Report and 2023 NRSS Actions

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) published its 2024 Progress Report, marking two years since the original National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS) was released on Jan. 27, 2022.

Adopting the safe system approach remains the foundation of the NRSS’ implementation and is pivotal to addressing the fatality crisis for drivers. The progress report provides an update on the department’s efforts to address severe and fatal injuries on roadways and details the department’s accomplishments related to addressing the NRSS actions in 2023.

The most significant actions in 2023 include:

  • Awarded $1.7 billion in funding to improve roadway 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% of all Americans. 
  • Accelerated the deployment of new vehicle safety technologies through rulemaking for automatic emergency braking, including for pedestrians, on all new passenger vehicles and heavy vehicles such as commercial trucks. 
  • Initiated an advance notice of proposed rulemaking for impaired-driving prevention technology standards to inform requirements that will deter behaviors such as alcohol-impaired driving.  
  • Updated key road safety regulations, such as the new edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, and revised guidance to encourage states using federal aid funds to use repaving and rehabilitation projects to improve safety for all road users. 
  • Expanded the use and support of the National Emergency Medical Services Information System by accepting data from all 50 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia. 
  • Welcomed more than 123 organizations that have joined as Allies in Action of the NRSS, including 36 state transportation agencies and safety offices.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top