The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued data about fatalities on our highways during the first half of the year.
- A total of 36,560 people died in traffic accidents last year. This was down 2.4 percent from 2017.
- Fatalities declined for accidents involving motorcycles, passenger cars, pickup trucks, sports utility vehicles and vans all declined, despite a 0.3 percent increase in number of miles driven.
- Through the first half of this year, an estimated 16,890 people died in traffic accidents. This is a 3.4% decrease from the same period last year.
- Deaths of pedestrians and bicyclists each rose to 28-year highs last year. The number of people killed in large trucks also rose by 0.8%, the most since 1988.
The acting administrator of the NHTSA attributes these decreases to vehicles equipped with advanced crash avoidance technologies. He also pointed to the agency’s efforts to encourage seat belt use, to curtail speeding, and to stop impaired or distracted driving.
Comparative statistics for the nation as a whole tell an interesting story. But it is important to ask if the trends noted are also true in Virginia. We gathered Virginia traffic fatality data (“unofficial”) for the first six months of 2018 and 2019. [Read more…]