An estimated 38,800 people were killed in automotive collisions in 2019, which translates into a 2% decline as compared with the 39,404 fatalities in 2018 and a 4% decline over the 40,231 in 2017, according to preliminary estimates released today by the National Safety Council.
Injuries dipped slightly as well, with some 4.4 million people seriously injured in crashes in 2019 as compared with 4.5 million in 2018.
Seven states fared particularly well, with 2019 fatalities dropping over 13% as compared with 2018.
Vermont experienced a 31% decrease in roadway fatalities followed by New Hampshire with a 30% drop. Other states that ranked among the top seven for reducing fatalities include South Dakota and the District of Columbia, both of which experienced a 21% decline in deaths, Alaska with a 16% decline, and Connecticut and Nevada with a 14% decline each.
Conversely, six states experienced estimated increases in fatalities by more than 5%. These include Nebraska (8%), Ohio (8%), Tennessee (10%), Delaware (20%), and Wyoming (32%), and Maine (35%).
In addition, the latest data from the Council indicate some specific roadway trends. For example, there was a continued spike in pedestrian deaths, distracted driving continues to be linked to 8% of crashes, and drowsy driving is a factor in another 2% of collisions.