While preliminary estimates indicate that the recent upward trend in motor vehicle deaths has continued to level off, there is still potential for the U.S. to see its third straight year with around 40,000 roadway deaths, according to the National Safety Council (NSC).

The number of fatalities in the first six months of 2018 dipped very slightly – less than 0.5 percent – from six-month 2017 estimates. Approximately 18,720 people died on U.S. roadways between January and June, compared to the NSC’s revised estimate of 18,770 during the same period last year. An additional 2.1 million people are estimated to have sustained serious crash-related injuries during the first six months of 2018 – a one percent drop from 2017 six-month projections.

However, the NSC warns that the small decrease is not so much an indication of progress as much as a stabilization of the steepest two-year increase in over 50 years, which occurred between 2014 and 2016.

The Labor Day holiday weekend estimates are also in line with last year’s trend. NSC estimates 420 people will be killed during the three-day weekend, which begins at 6 p.m. Friday, August 31, and ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday, September 3.

“When it comes to this leading cause of accidental death, we aren’t making progress – we’re treading water,” said Ken Kolosh, Manager of Statistics at the NSC. “We cannot accept more than 18,700 deaths as the price of mobility. We hope these numbers remind drivers to slow down, buckle up, pay attention and drive defensively so we can get on the road to zero deaths.”

The NSC’s early estimates indicate that some states have seen progress. In the first half of this year, several states have experienced at least a 10 percent drop in motor vehicle deaths including Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan and New York. A sample of states with increases through the first six months include California (3 percent), Florida (7 percent), Oregon (9 percent) and Texas (3 percent). A complete list of state results is available here.