US traffic deaths fall in 2023 but remain above pre-pandemic levels

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. auto safety regulators on Thursday said traffic deaths fell by 3.3% in the first half of 2023 but remain sharply higher than pre-pandemic levels.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that 19,515 people died in traffic crashes through June compared to 20,190 deaths in the same period in 2022 but still much higher than the 17,065 killed in the six-month period in 2019.

U.S. traffic deaths jumped 10.5% in 2021 to 42,915, the highest number killed on American roads in a single year since 2005.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Mark Porter)