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US Traffic Fatalities Continue to Decline Despite Increased Mileage

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has some promising news: US traffic fatalities decreased again in 2023. This marks the second consecutive year of decline following a worrying rise in 2020 and 2021.

Fewer Deaths, More Miles Driven

The NHTSA estimates that 40,990 people died in car crashes in 2023, a 3.6% drop compared to 2022’s 42,514 fatalities. This positive trend continued throughout the year, with the fourth quarter marking the seventh consecutive quarter with fewer fatalities.

Here’s the surprising part: even though there were fewer deaths, Americans actually drove more in 2023. Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) increased by 2.1% compared to 2022. This means the fatality rate per 100 million miles driven also decreased, going from 1.33 in 2022 to 1.26 in 2023.

Combating Distracted Driving

While the news is encouraging, the NHTSA isn’t resting on its laurels. They’re committed to further reducing traffic fatalities and are launching a new campaign, “Put the Phone Away or Pay.” This campaign aims to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, a major contributor to accidents.

“Distracted driving is extremely dangerous,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Sophie Shulman. “Our rebranded campaign reminds everyone to focus on the road. Distracted driving can cost you in fines – or even cost your life or the life of someone else.”

The Takeaway

The decrease in traffic fatalities is a positive step, but there’s still work to be done. By prioritizing safe driving habits and avoiding distractions like phones, we can all contribute to making our roads safer.

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

About This Blog

The title of this blog reflects my attitude toward those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people. As a Dallas, Texas lawyer, I've spent more than 45 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims. (Sorry if I offended you...)

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