The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Wednesday that 2017 highway fatality numbers are down after two consecutive years of large increases. Preliminary estimates for the first 6 months of 2018 indicate that the downward trend may continue into this year as well.
A total of 37,133 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2017, a decrease of nearly 2 percent from 2016. The full data set from the 2017 Fatality Analysis Reporting System is available now, and other notable changes include:
Pedestrian fatalities declined about 2 percent, the first decline since 2013;
For the second year in a row, more fatalities occurred in urban areas than rural areas;
Combination trucks involved in fatal crashes increased 5.8 percent;
Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) increased by 1.2 percent from 2016 to 2017; and
The fatality rate per 100 million VMT decreased by 2.5 percent, from 1.19 in 2016 to 1.16 in 2017.