Traffic fatalities up 25% from a decade earlier; fatal and serious crashes cost nearly $1.9 trillion, new report shows

Traffic fatalities across the U.S. declined for the second consecutive year in 2023 but were significantly higher than a decade earlier, according to a new report  from TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit.

The report, “Addressing America’s Traffic Safety Crisis: Examining the Causes of Increasing U.S. Traffic Fatalities and Identifying Solutions to Improve Traffic Safety,” was released this morning.

It “documents trends in traffic fatalities from 2013 to 2023 at the national and state levels, examines causes for the increase in traffic fatalities, and prescribes a broad, comprehensive approach to reducing traffic fatalities in the U.S.,” according to a news release issued by TRIP with the report.

Utilizing data from a 2023 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, TRIP estimated “fatal and serious traffic crashes in 2023 caused a total of $1.85 trillion in the value of societal harm, which includes $460 billion in economic costs and $1.4 trillion in quality-of-life costs.”

Responding to the TRIP report findings, ATSSA Board Chair Mike Hare said roadway safety requires a multi-pronged approach and reiterated the Association’s commitment to eliminating traffic fatalities.

“Ensuring safety on our nation’s roadways is a collective effort involving everyone from drivers to government entities that finance road improvements, as well as manufacturers, contractors and innovators. We must all commit to reducing fatalities and serious injuries on American roadways, which cost an estimated $1.9 trillion last year and caused immeasurable pain and hardship for families,” he said. “At ATSSA, we are dedicated to achieving zero deaths on our roads.”

The report provides a breakdown by state of the number of fatalities and rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) for 2013 and 2018-2023.

The report also notes that bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities accounted for 21% of all traffic fatalities in 2023, and that motorcyclist fatalities accounted for 16%. All three categories increased from 2018-2023: pedestrian deaths 15%, motorcyclist deaths 28% and bicyclist deaths 29%.

“While it is good news that the number of traffic fatalities is trending downward in recent years, the sharp increase in traffic fatalities over the past decade must be addressed,” said Dave Kearby, TRIP’s executive director. “Making a commitment to eliminating fatal and serious injuries on the nation’s roadways will require robust investment and coordinated activities by transportation and safety-related agencies in providing the needed layers of protection for the nation’s motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists, including safe road users, safe roads, safe vehicles, safe speeds and high-quality post-crash care.”



Published Date

July 2, 2024

Post Type

  • News

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