Traffic fatalities down 5% on U.S. roads this year image

According to preliminary data collected by the National Safety Council, deaths from motor vehicle crashes during the first six months of 2013 are down 5%, compared to the same six-month period last year.

The non-profit organization founded in 1913 (and chartered by the US Congress) reported that in 2013, an estimated 16,620 traffic deaths occurred from January through June, compared to 17,430 in 2012. Although this is good news, the organization also reported not knowing the definitive reasons behind the decrease – knowing them would have helped devising new measures to support the trend.

“The Council will be keeping a close eye on our monthly traffic fatality estimates to determine if this decrease is just a blip on the radar,” said Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “We are encouraged to see this downward trend and will remain vigilant to keep our roads as safe as possible.”

As in addition to the human lives, motor vehicle crashes present a significant national cost in lost wages and productivity, medical expenses, administrative expenses, employer costs and property damage – with estimates through June raising up to $127 billion.