NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Road Fatalities Hit All-Time Low

May 28, 1999

Americans appear to be driving more safely and they chalked up some encouraging numbers in 1998. There were only 1.6 deaths per 100 million miles driven last year -- the lowest rate ever, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

  • Altogether, 41,480 people lost their lives on the nation's roads in 1998 -- the lowest total in four years.
  • Americans drove an unprecedented 2.6 trillion miles last year.
  • Alcohol was involved in 15,936 deaths -- or 38.4 percent of the total, the lowest level since the government started compiling statistics in 1975.
  • The number of people killed in crashes involving trucks dropped 1.8 percent -- to 5,302 from a record 5,398 in 1997.

Total 1998 fatalities are 19 percent lower than they were in 1979, when 51,093 people lost their lives on the nation's highways.

Source: Scott Bowles, "Traffic Deaths at Record Lows," USA Today, May 28, 1999.


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