More than 9,300 people died in traffic crashes during the first three months of 2023, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s early estimate of motor vehicle traffic fatalities.
Released Wednesday, the estimate is 3.3% less compared with a year earlier and represents a fourth straight quarterly decline following almost two years of increases that began during the COVID pandemic.
Compared with pre-pandemic levels, the 9,330 deaths are the highest fatality level for a first quarter since 2007.
NHTSA said 32 states are projected to have had decreases in fatalities. Vermont saw the largest drop in traffic deaths (46.7%), followed by Maine (45.5%), Hawaii (37.8%), Nebraska (30.8%) and Minnesota (21.9%).
Fatalities increased in 18 states. Rhode Island had the largest projected increase (243%), followed by Wyoming (83.3%), Idaho (37.5%), Arkansas (23%) and North Dakota (13.3%).