National Safety Council: Fatal Accidents Down From A Year Ago

Published on August 21, 2017 07:11 AM in Safe Driving
National Safety Council: Fatal Accidents Down From A Year Ago

Motorists are dying on American roadways at an alarming rate, though the figures are slightly better than this time last year. 

Vehicle collisions with fatalities are slightly down from a year ago, though the country is still in its steepest two-year increase in motor vehicle deaths since 1964, according to the National Safety Council.

The council’s research covers the first six months of 2017. Data shows fatalities in vehicle crashes is down one percent from this time last year. The council estimates 18,680 people have died on U.S. roadways since January, with another 2.1 million requiring medical attention. The estimated cost of these deaths and injuries is $191 billion. 

“The price of our cultural complacency is more than a hundred fatalities each day,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. 

Hersman pointed to an ongoing effort to reduce vehicle fatalities. 

“Although the numbers may be leveling off, the road to zero deaths will require accelerating improvements in technology, engaging drivers and investing in our infrastructure.”

The Road to Zero is an initiative among federal agencies to eliminate traffic fatalities in 30 years. Agencies participating in the Road to Zero include the Federal Highway Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the council. 

(RELATED: Safety tips before hitting the highway)

The National Safety Council offers the following advice to drivers:

  • Make sure every passenger buckles up on every trip
  • Designate an alcohol and drug-free driver or arrange alternate transportation
  • Get plenty of sleep and take regular breaks to avoid fatigue
  • Never use a cell phone behind the wheel, even hands-free.
  • Stay engaged in teens’ driving habits, and visit for resources
  • Learn about your vehicle’s safety systems and how to use them. can help drivers understand features such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning systems and backup cameras.
  • Visit to ensure your vehicle does not have an open recall