The number of people killed on America’s roads dropped by just over three percent in the first half of 2023 compared to the previous year, according to the latest estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The fall is despite the number of miles being travelled increasing, however the organization has warned there is still more work to be done.

Early estimates of traffic deaths for the first half of the year revealed a decline for the fifth straight quarter. An estimated 19,515 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes, representing a decrease of about 3.3 percent as compared to 20,190 fatalities in the first half of 2022. Fatalities declined in both the first and second quarters of 2023.

Preliminary data also showed that vehicle miles traveled in the first half of 2023 increased by about 35.1 billion miles, roughly 2.3 per cent higher than the same time last year.

“While we are encouraged to see traffic fatalities continue to decline from the height of the pandemic, there’s still significantly more work to be done,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator Ann Carlson.

NHTSA estimates a decrease in fatalities in 29 states, while 21 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, are projected to have experienced increases.

NHTSA has announced several safety initiatives aimed at reducing traffic deaths, including proposed rulemakings to require automatic emergency braking systems in passenger cars, light trucks and heavy vehicles.

The agency has also published a proposed rule for seat belt warning systems and issued a Standing General Order to collect more data about crashes that occur when automated driving systems and advanced driver assistance systems are engaged.