The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported a 2.4 percent reduction in traffic-related deaths. Looking at the first six months of 2019, last year’s stat represents somewhat of a trend as this year’s deaths are down 3.4 percent. Specific statistics include:
- Drunk driving deaths fell by 3.6 percent
- Speeding-related fatalities saw a 5.7 percent drop
- Motorcyclists killed in accidents declined by 4.7 percent
While drivers were paying more attention to safety and less attention to distractions, technical or otherwise, a majority of the credit is going to crash prevention technology installed into newer motor vehicles.
Road-related concerns remain
While the news revealed progress, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao believes that the proverbial road remains long. Approximately all the injuries and deaths that occurred over the past year were still preventable. All the cutting-edge computer programs and gadgetry can only go so far in continuing prevention efforts.
The data was also tempered by the staggering increases in 2015 and 2016 that many say resulted from an improved economy and busier roads.
The other downside of the “good news” involves pedestrian deaths increasing by 3.4 percent, primarily due to walking after dark, failing to stay in intersections, or walkers and drivers traveling while intoxicated. Deaths in collisions involving bicycles and similar conveyances also rose 6.3 percent. Accidents involving large trucks grew slightly at one percent.
The NHTSA continues to look at ways to further reduce road fatalities. The five-star crash assessment program is undergoing a review while the Federal Highway Administration is stepping up their efforts to keep the momentum going and further reduce traffic deaths.