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US Road Fatalities Down In 2023, But Officials Say It’s Not Good Enough

Key Takeaways

  • US road fatalities have fallen despite increased driving
  • Distracted driving is one of the major drivers of road accidents
  • Despite improvements, road fatalities are still higher than pre-pandemic levels

US traffic deaths decreased by 3.6% in 2023, with the latest government estimates showing that 40,990 people died on American roads last year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released full-year estimates for 2023, noting that last year was the second year in a row that road fatalities declined.

In 2022, 42,514 people lost their lives in crashes. This decrease is a pleasant surprise, as Americans drove more in 2023, traveling an estimated 67.5 billion more miles than the previous year. The death rate per 100 million miles fell to 1.26 from 1.33 in 2022.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Decline Is Encouraging, But Still Not Good Enough

While it’s good to see road fatalities taking a tumble, officials say the numbers are still too high. Distracted driving still remains a severe problem, with 3,308 road deaths and 289,310 injuries related to distracted driving crashes in 2022. These latest numbers underscore the toll of being distracted behind the wheel.


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In 2022, 3,308 people were killed and an estimated additional 289,310 people were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers. “Distracted driving is extremely dangerous,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Sophie Shulman. “Distraction comes in many forms, but it is also preventable.”

Texas leads the country in estimated road fatalities for 2023, with 4,294 deaths in 2023. California follows closely at 4,013, while Florida’s estimate is pegged at 3,436. Washington, D.C. had the fewest fatalities, at 45 deaths for 2023.

Infiniti G35 crash

Cars Are Getting Safer, But Our Roads Are Still A Dangerous Place To Be

Road death statistics are still higher than pre-pandemic levels, with 2023 fatality figures higher than any pre-pandemic year since 2008. Despite a national fleet that comprises safer cars – some of which have sophisticated driver assist systems – too many individuals are dying on American roads.

This is caused by several factors, such as speeding, distracted driving, and drunken driving. In 2021 alone, the NHTSA estimates that more than 12,000 people died in speed-related crashes, leading to some legislators pushing speed-limiting devices.

While driving a modern car with the latest safety features (even the Toyota Corolla is offered with advanced driver assists) will help keep you safe, the best thing any driver could do is pay attention. Too many motorists palm off driving duties on their vehicle safety features, which is another problem on its own.

Ford Crown Victoria crash

#Road #Fatalities #Officials #Good

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