The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that when 2018 driving fatality numbers are finalized later this year, fatalities in accidents involving at least one large truck will see a 3% increase over 2017’s numbers.
A preliminary report from NHTSA indicates that, overall, traffic fatalities declined in 2018 from 2017, despite the uptick in fatalities in truck-involved crashes. The number of traffic fatalities dipped 1 percent, even with a four-tenths of a percent increase (12.2 billion miles) in miles traveled. If NHTSA’s estimates hold true, 2018 will be the second consecutive year to see a decrease in traffic fatalities following two years of large increases in 2015 and 2016.
NHTSA’s preliminary data estimates that 36,750 people were killed in traffic crashes in 2018. The agency estimates truck-involved fatalities increased by 3%, while pedestrian and pedalcyclist fatalities increased by 4% and 10%, respectively.
The agency’s preliminary data doesn’t go into detail as to how many people were killed in truck-involved crashes. Last year’s data showed a 9% increase in truck-involved fatalities from 2016 to 2017.
According to the data, most regions across the country saw a decrease in traffic fatalities, with the largest percentage decrease being seen in the upper Midwest (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio), which saw a 5% decrease year-over-year. New England saw the largest year-over-year increase in traffic fatalities with a 4% increase.