Statistics Transportation

Traffic deaths fall to record low in 2013

Washington – Traffic deaths in the United States decreased by 3.1 percent in 2013 from the previous year and have declined nearly 25 percent in a decade, according to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Occupant deaths in passenger vehicle crashes – including passenger cars, sport utility vehicles, minivans and pickup trucks – totaled 21,132, the lowest figure since 1975.

Additionally, motorcyclist and large truck occupant deaths decreased for the first time since 2009 – by 6.4 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.

Other key figures from the Dec. 19 report include:

  • Pedestrian deaths declined by 1.7 percent to 4,735, but were 15 percent higher than the record low of 4,109 in 2009.
  • The only category of occupants and non-occupants that saw an increase in deaths was pedalcyclists (743 in 2013, compared with 734 in 2012). Pedalcyclists are defined by NHTSA as “bicyclists and other riders of two-wheel non-motorized vehicles, tricycles, and unicycles powered solely by pedals.”
  • Deaths in distraction-related crashes fell by 6.7 percent to 3,154. Yet, the estimated number of injured in these crashes (424,000) rose by 1 percent.
  • Alcohol-impaired driving deaths declined by 2.5 percent to 10,076, making up 31 percent of overall traffic deaths in 2013.