There were approximately 44,450 motor vehicle fatalities in the United State in 2023, according to a preliminary analysis released by the National Safety Council (NSC).

Though a 4 percent decline from 2022, when compared to prepandemic 2019, it’s a 13.6 percent increase.

Speeding, distracted and impaired driving are factors in the preventable crashes and deaths, the NSC said.

“The most dangerous thing most people in our country do in a single day is use the U.S. roadway system. This public health crisis is an atrocity that must continue to be addressed,” said Mark Chung, executive vice president of roadway practice at NSC. “No one should die getting to or from their homes, schools and workplaces, but the current system was not designed with the safety of all road users in mind. This is why we must continue to speak, act and cooperatively work together across public and private sectors to prioritize the safe travel of all road users; this is our focus when visiting with lawmakers in the spring, to continue advocating for the safety of all road users and ultimately save lives.”

According to NSC’s analysis, 12 states reported a decrease in motor vehicle fatalities of 10 percent or more in 2023: Alaska, Maine, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Mexico, Utah, Georgia, New York and Louisiana.

Seven states as well as the nation’s capital reported increases of 10 percent or more compared to 2022 preliminary estimates: District of Columbia, Rhode Island, Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, North Dakota, Maryland and Kentucky.

The NSC emphasized the importance of The Safe System Approach takes a holistic look at road safety by examining five elements of a safe transportation system: road users, speed management, vehicles, roads and post-crash care.

The council noted that the estimates are subject to change as data mature.

The NSC uses data from the National Center for Health Statistics, an arm of the CDC, so that deaths occurring within 100 days of the crash and on both public and private roadways – such as parking lots and driveways – are included in the council’s estimates.

The council has calculated traffic fatality estimates since 1913.