Traffic fatalities dropped 3.3% in the first half of the year compared with the prior-year period, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The agency said Thursday that an estimated 19,515 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the first half of 2023. There were 20,190 fatalities in the first half of 2022.
Fatalities fell in the first and second quarters of 2023. That marks five straight quarter the figure has declined.
The NHTSA estimates a there was a drop in fatalities in 29 states, while 21 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, are projected to have experienced increases.
“While we are encouraged to see traffic fatalities continue to decline from the height of the pandemic, there’s still significantly more work to be done,” NHTSA Acting Administrator Ann Carlson said. “NHTSA is addressing traffic safety in many ways, including new rulemakings for lifesaving vehicle technologies and increased Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding for state highway safety offices. We will continue to work with our safety partners to meet the collective goal of zero fatalities.”
Last year, there were 42,795 people killed on U.S. roadways, which government officials described as a national crisis.
Earlier this year, nearly 50 businesses and nonprofits — including rideshare companies Uber and Lyft, industrial giant 3M and automaker Honda — pledged millions of dollars in initiatives to stem road fatalities.
The Biden administration in 2022 steered $5 billion in federal aid to cities and localities to address road fatalities by slowing down cars, carving out bike paths and wider sidewalks and nudging commuters to public transit.