Traffic Fatalities Decrease 3.2% in First Quarter of the Year

Roadway deaths have been dropping since the second quarter of 2022, according to NHTSA data.


Traffic fatalities in the U.S. continue to trend downward, with an estimated 8,650 deaths in the first quarter of 2024, representing a 3.2% decrease compared to the same period in 2023, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The preliminary data for the first quarter of 2024 continues a trend of declining traffic fatalities that began in the second quarter of 2022. This positive development comes despite a 0.6% increase in vehicle miles traveled from January through March. The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled also saw a decline, dropping to 1.13 from 1.18 in the previous year.

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

The NHTSA report also indicated fatalities decreased in 30 states and Puerto Rico, while 19 states and Washington, D.C., saw an increase, and one state remained unchanged.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) released its 2024 Progress Report, marking two years since the launch of the National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS). This strategy, which adopts a safe system approach, has been central to efforts to address the fatality crisis on U.S. roads.

Key actions taken in 2023 as part of the NRSS include the awarding of $1.7 billion in funding through the Safe Streets and Roads for All discretionary grant program, benefiting more than 1,000 communities and approximately 70% of Americans. Additionally, the NHTSA has accelerated the deployment of new vehicle safety technologies, initiated rulemaking for impaired-driving prevention technology standards, and updated key road safety regulations.

DOT has also expanded the use and support of the National Emergency Medical Services Information System, now accepting data from all 50 states, two territories and Washington, D.C. Moreover, the NRSS has welcomed more than 123 organizations as Allies in Action, including 36 state transportation agencies and safety offices.

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