Though Traffic Fatalities Remain High, Dip Suggests Progress on the Road to Zero
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that 37,133 people were killed on U.S. roadways in 2017, a 1.8% decrease from 2016. Historically, a strong economy and employment rate – as we have now – correlates with an increase in traffic deaths, so this drop, while small, is encouraging news.
Of course, zero is the only acceptable number of traffic deaths, and we still have a long way to go to achieve this. Behaviors like distraction, speeding, impairment, and lack of seat belt use pose persistent threats to safety, and we cannot let up in our efforts to combat these problems. As GHSA projected earlier this year, pedestrian fatalities remain at levels unseen in more than two decades, reinforcing the need to focus on protecting people on foot. This is a top priority for GHSA, reflected in our recently updated policy statements bolstering support for a comprehensive approach to both pedestrian and bicyclist safety.
We know that a combination of education, engineering, and enforcement holds the key to reducing highway fatalities. Implementing these proven countermeasures is a team effort: GHSA is proud to collaborate with its members and partners to tackle the toughest safety challenges, and continues to work closely with NHTSA to help states and communities deploy effective solutions. We are particularly appreciative of NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King’s focus on behavioral programs as well as technological solutions to reducing roadway deaths. We look forward to strengthening these and other efforts to maintain a sustained downward trend of roadway fatalities.
Released on October 3, 2018
Contact: Kara Macek, 202-789-0942 x140