The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s announcement that 36,560 were killed in traffic crashes in 2018 indicates progress in our shared goal of zero deaths.
We are pleased to see a 2.4 percent drop in fatalities in 2018 and an estimated 3.4 percent dip in early 2019. A decline in 2019 would mark three straight years of fewer fatalities despite a strong economy, which typically correlates with increased traffic deaths. However, the only acceptable level of deaths is zero, and we will not rest until that is achieved.
GHSA is glad to note progress in reducing alcohol-related, speeding-related and motorcyclist fatalities in 2018. Nevertheless, we are alarmed by the notable increase in pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities, up 3.4 and 6.3 percent, respectively. GHSA leveraged preliminary state data earlier this year to predict that 2018 would see a historical surge in pedestrian deaths. GHSA’s annual Pedestrian Safety Spotlight
described a number of contributing factors and promising strategies to counteract this alarming trend. There is no one solution to the rise in pedestrian deaths. Rather, a combination of engineering, enforcement and educational approaches are needed.
The tremendous investments made today in highway safety have been beneficial, but clearly not commensurate with the need. GHSA is committed to working with our partners in the federal government, advocacy community and at the state and local level to accelerate the momentum toward zero deaths on our nation’s roadways.
Released on October 22, 2019
Contact: Kara Macek, 202-789-0944