Government Data Shows Smaller Estimated Number of Traffic Deaths

Photo by kimi lee on Unsplash

( – In 2023, fatalities from motor vehicle accidents saw a 3.6% decrease compared to the prior year, while the estimated vehicular miles traveled rose, based on early government statistics.

There were approximately 40,990 traffic-related deaths in 2023, a reduction from 42,514 in 2022. Vehicle mileage in 2023 experienced a 2.1% increase, equating to an additional 67.5 billion miles, as per preliminary figures from the Federal Highway Administration.

This period represents the second year of declining traffic death rates, with a 1.7% decrease observed in 2022. The trend continued into the last quarter of 2023, marking the seventh successive quarter of reduced fatality rates starting from the second quarter of 2022.

Before these decreases, there was a significant uptick in traffic-related deaths, with a 10.8% increase in 2021, totaling 43,230, and a 7.3% rise in 2020, with 39,007 fatalities. The year prior had witnessed a slight decrease in death rates.

This data’s publication aligns with efforts by officials to expedite the downward trajectory of traffic fatalities. A key part of this initiative is a rebranded campaign aimed at curtailing distracted driving, named “Put the Phone Away or Pay.” This campaign, as detailed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), aims to highlight the lethal risks and legal penalties, including fines, associated with distracted driving.

In a press release, Sophie Shulman, the NHTSA’s Deputy Administrator, emphasized the grave risk of distracted driving in the campaign’s announcement, noting that it is a preventable behavior. The campaign stresses the severe repercussions of distracted driving, which can lead to financial penalties or even loss of life.

To enforce this, a “high-visibility enforcement” operation focusing on distracted driving laws was scheduled, specifically targeting drivers between 18 to 34 years old. This age group is statistically more prone to fatalities in crashes involving distractions.

The NHTSA has allocated $5 million for a national media campaign across television, radio, and digital platforms to support this initiative.

Copyright 2024,