Traffic deaths declined for the third year in a row in 2019, NHTSA says

Traffic deaths across the country dropped for the third year in a row in 2019 and could be the second lowest death rate per miles traveled since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began keeping records in 1975, the agency said Tuesday.

Preliminary numbers in a statistical projection estimate 36,120 people died in road crashes last year. That is a decrease of about 440 or 1.2% less than 2018.

Although vehicle miles traveled increased by 0.9%, the fatality rate per 100 million miles traveled dropped to 1.10, down from 1.13. If that rate holds in a final review of statistics, it would be the second lowest rate since 1975.