The final numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, confirmed that in 2019, overall traffic fatalities continued trending downward.
The NHTSA concludes that just under 36,100 people died on the country’s roads in 2019, which is a 2% drop from 2018.
The bigger picture continues to get better as the year go on. In example around 1980, about 50,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents each year, a time in which people traveled a lot less than they do now.
To put it in perspective, the number of deaths per 100 million traveled has fallen to 1.1 in 2019 from 3.35 in 1975.
It seems that the ongoing crackdown on drunk driving has played a role in the success. Between 1970 and 1979, around 60% of all fatal accidents were alcohol-related. In 2019, that number was down to below 30%.
The report also showed a need for improvement in several respects
However, the report did not have only good news. For one, while the number of fatalities are down over last year, the country is still not enjoying the record lows it did in the early part of the 2010s.
Also, while the fatality rate fell, the number of people who reported injuries after a motor vehicle accident inched up slightly between 2018 and 2019.
While the report did not break down the severity of these injuries, many victims of automobile accidents come out of them suffering from permanent disabilities.
Specifically, pedestrians continue to die at alarmingly high rates. In 2019, over 3,140 people died in pedestrian accidents, which was 10% higher than 2018’s number. Deadly pedestrian and bicycle accidents in urban areas continue to drive this number higher.
Those who are victims of motor vehicle accident may be able to pursue compensation if another person’s negligence caused the accident.