Statement on New Data on 2023 Q-1 Traffic Crash Fatalities

  • June 21, 2023
150 150 Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety

 Statement by Cathy Chase, President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates), on New Data on 2023 Q-1 Traffic Crash Fatalities

(Washington, D.C.-June 21, 2023) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released its first projections for traffic fatalities in 2023, estimating that 9,330 people died in traffic crashes in the first three months of the year. This is a drop of approximately 3.3 percent compared to the same time in 2022; however, it is still excessively high. The last time the U.S. was at this fatality level in a first quarter before 2020 was 2007. Over 9,000 people not returning home because they were killed in a violent crash remains a reason for our Nation to mourn, not make merry.

More can and must be done to save lives. With every passing day, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) delays completing the vehicle safety rulemakings mandated in the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA, Pub. L. 117-58) and other overdue statutorily mandated advances, our roads remain deadly. Without delay, the U.S. DOT must issue minimum performance standards for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) (i.e., automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane departure warning (LDW) and lane keeping assist (LKA)), impaired driving prevention technology, and other lifesaving systems.

We urge Transportation Secretary Buttigieg to bring these proven lifesaving measures to protect all road users over the finish line with tremendous urgency and thoroughness.