WASHINGTON — U.S. traffic deaths have declined nearly 25 percent over the past decade, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
NHTSA in late December released final 2013 data from its Fatality Analysis Reporting System, which showed 32,719 people died in traffic crashes last year, a 3.1-percent drop from 2012. Traffic injuries in 2013 declined by 2.1 percent, NHTSA said.
NHTSA said the 2013 fatality rate of 1.10 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled represented a historic low, and compared with a fatality rate in 2012 of 1.14 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles.
A key statistic — the number of passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes — declined to 21,132, the lowest number on record dating to 1975, NHTSA said. Passenger vehicles include passenger cars, SUVs, minivans and pickup trucks.
NHTSA said pedestrian deaths dropped to 4,735, but the number remains well above the record low of 4,109 pedestrian fatalities in 2009.
The agency said alcohol was a factor in nearly one-third of traffic deaths in 2013.
Edmunds says: NHTSA also says distracted driving continues to be a concern in traffic accidents and injuries.