WASHINGTON – Overall fatalities on U.S. roads have declined for a second consecutive year, but deaths involving large trucks have risen slightly.
That is according to a report released this week by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
It said 36,560 people were killed in traffic accidents last year, 913 fewer fatalities than 2017, a 2.4% decline.
The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled also decreased by 3.4% to 1.13, the lowest rate since 2014, the federal agency said.
Fatalities involving large trucks rose by 0.8% to 885 in 2018 from 878 in 2017.
The truck fatalities were:
■ Nonoccupants had 48 more fatalities, a 9.7% increase from 2017.
■ Large-truck occupant fatalities in single-vehicle crashes increased by 10, a 1.9% increase from 2017.
■ Large-truck occupant fatalities in multiple-vehicle crashes decreased by 3, a 0.8% decrease from 2017.
■ Occupant fatalities in other vehicles decreased by 9, a 0.3% decrease from 2017.
The agency attributed the overall improvement in road safety to the use of advanced crash-avoiding technologies.
“New vehicles are safer than older ones and when crashes occur, more new vehicles are equipped with advanced technologies that prevent or reduce the severity of crashes,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator James Owens.
“NHTSA has spent recent years partnering with state and local governments and safety advocates to urge the public to never drive impaired or distracted, to avoid excessive speed, and to always buckle up.”