NHTSA: Traffic fatalities in 2013 down about 2 percent

Washington – An estimated 32,850 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2013, a 2.1 percent decrease from 2012, according to a new projection from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

However, NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis projects that traffic fatalities in the fourth quarter of 2013 increased 1.8 percent compared to the same time period in 2012 – the only quarter in 2013 projected to show an increase. The fatality rate per 100 vehicle miles traveled for 2013 is projected to decrease slightly to 1.11 from the 2012 projected rate of 1.13.

NHTSA stated that it is too soon to speculate on the factors that may have contributed to the 2013 decrease in fatalities. The final data for 2012 and an updated estimate for 2013 are expected to be released sometime this fall.