JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – New data on traffic deaths show the number of fatal crashes increased in several southeastern states, including Florida. The rest of the country saw a decrease in fatalities.
The data is from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s early estimates for the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).
While this data is preliminary, NHTSA currently estimates that 36,120 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2019. Framed another way, for every 100 million miles traveled, 1.10 deaths occurred.
That’s a 1.2% decline in the number of fatalities reported nationwide in 2018. The data also predicts a decrease in pedestrian, bicyclist, and motorcyclist fatalities as that study is expected later this year.
However, for the Southeast, the data shows a darker picture. Traffic deaths increased by 2% in South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida.
Nine out of 10 regions across the country experienced decreases in traffic deaths - the one region that didn’t include South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida with a 2% increase in traffic deaths from 2018 to 2019.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said four precautions can reduce traffic deaths anywhere in the country:
- Obey the speed limit
- Wear a seat belt
- Focus on driving and limit distractions
- Drive sober