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Traffic fatalities down in first half of year, National Safety Council estimates

ATSSA president encouraged but not satisfied with reported trend

Traffic deaths showed a 3% decrease for the first six months of this year compared to the same period for 2022, according to National Safety Council (NSC) estimates announced today.

NSC estimated 21,150 people died in motor vehicle crashes between January and June, a report of preliminary estimates shows. The nonprofit conducts semiannual estimates on a regular basis. NSC compares its estimates to those of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) as a means of assessing the validity of its estimates. NCHS’s final estimate of motor vehicle deaths for the first six months of 2021 was 1% below the NSC final estimate—21,771 compared to 21,450.

The NSC report notes that the slight decrease in estimated fatalities came despite a 2.3% increase in miles traveled for the first six months of the year compared to the first six months of 2022.

ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner said he was encouraged by the traffic fatality estimates but said the Association won’t be satisfied until roadway fatalities reach zero.

“The rate of traffic fatalities on our nation’s roadways is tragic. Every indication that the record-setting rate of deaths of the past few years has receded is good news but our goal is to move Toward Zero Deaths,” Tetschner said. “Our industry is committed to roadway safety infrastructure, which plays a significant role in protecting motorists. However, every driver must avoid risky behaviors such as speeding and distracted driving, two of the biggest factors in motor vehicle crashes.”

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