WASHINGTON, D.C. — Highway deaths decreased 3.1% in 2013 compared to the previous year, new federal data show.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s recently released 2013 Fatality Analysis Reporting System data also show a nearly 25% decline in overall highway deaths since 2004.
In 2013, 32,719 people died in traffic crashes, down from 33,782 in 2012. The estimated number of people injured in crashes also declined by 2.1%.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx attributed the decrease in traffic fatalities to “the broad partnership of safety-driven individuals and organizations who have joined us in making our roads safer for everyone.”
The decline in traffic deaths continues a long-term downward trend in the fatality rate. In 2013, there were 1.10 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, down from 1.14 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2012.
Other 2013 statistics identified by NHTSA include:
• The number of passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes declined by 3% to 21,132 — the lowest number on record dating back to 1975. Passenger vehicles include passenger cars, SUVs, minivans and pickup trucks.
• Pedestrian fatalities declined by 1.7% to 4,735.
• Pedalcyclist fatalities increased by 1.2%, the highest since 2006.
• The number of people killed in distraction-affected crashes fell to 3,154 in 2013 from 3,380 in 2012, a 6.7% decrease.
• Alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities decreased by 2.5% in 2013 to 10,076, accounting for 31% of the overall fatalities in 2013.
“Almost 90 people on average lose their lives each day — and more than 250 are injured every hour — due to drunk driving, not wearing a seat belt and the many other factors associated with traffic crashes,” NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman said. “As we work each day at NHTSA, these are tragic reminders of the importance of our efforts and how we must build on our many successes and continue to work even harder to protect the American public.”
To view the final 2013 Fatality Analysis Reporting System data, go here.