Motor Vehicle Deaths in U.S. Again Top 40,000

February 16, 2018

Motor vehicle accidents claimed 40,100 deaths in 2017, almost the same as in 2016 when 40,327 were reported.

The National Safety Council says its preliminary 2017 estimate is six percent higher than the number of deaths in 2015 and, if the estimate holds, it will be the second consecutive year that motor vehicle deaths topped 40,000. The number last reached this level in 2007.

Approximately 4.57 million people were seriously injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2017, about the same as in 2016, according to the safety organization. Miles driven were up about one percent.

The group estimates that the costs to society of motor vehicle crashes and injuries totaled $413.8 billion.

According to the National Safety Council, the estimated annual population death rate is 12.28 deaths per 100,000 population, a decrease of two percent from the 2016 rate. The estimated annual mileage death rate is 1.25 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, a decrease of 2% from the 2016 rate.

“The price we are paying for mobility is 40,000 lives each year,” said NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman. “This is a stark reminder that our complacency is killing us. The only acceptable number is zero; we need to mobilize a full court press to improve roadway safety.”

NSC collects fatality data every month from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and uses data from the National Center for Health Statistics. Deaths occurring within one year of the crash and on both public and private roadways – such as parking lots and driveways – are included in the estimates.

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