Nearly 43,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2021 alone.  -  Photo:

Nearly 43,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2021 alone.


Roadway deaths in the U.S. declined by 3% to 21,150 from January 2023 through June 2023 as compared to the 21,870 deaths in the same period in 2022, according to preliminary estimates just released by the National Safety Council (NSC).

At the same time, mileage in the first half of 2023 increased 2.3% from 2022 and was up 5.1% from 2021. The estimated mileage death rate in the first half of 2023 is 1.34 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, down 5.6% from 1.42 in 2022 and down 7.6% compared to 2021.

Moreover, through June 2023, motor vehicle deaths decreased by more than 15% in nine states compared to 2022. These include Maine (-48%, 39 fewer deaths), Nebraska (-26%, 32 fewer deaths), Hawaii (-23%, 14 fewer deaths), New Jersey (-20%, 68 fewer deaths), Alaska (-19%, 6 fewer deaths), California (-17%, 330 fewer deaths), Massachusetts (-17%, 33 fewer deaths), Georgia (-16%, 144 fewer deaths), and New York (-16%, 71 fewer deaths).

More Estimates from the National Safety Council

On the downside, nine states and the District of Columbia experienced a fatality increase of 10% or greater compared to the first six months of 2022. Chief among these are Rhode Island which saw a staggering 164% increase in deaths, followed by Arizona with a 69% increase and the District of Columbia with a 29% increase.

While the national 3% dip in deaths for the first six months of the year is promising, safety advocates remain cautious and press for continued initiatives to save more lives. In 2021 alone, some 42,939 people lost their lives on U.S. roads, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“The estimates further underscore the urgent need for continued efforts to improve road safety across the nation through the implementation of the Safe System approach,” said Mark Chung, executive vice president of roadway practice at the National Safety Council, in a press statement.

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