Motor vehicle deaths dipped very slightly – 1% – in 2017 but collisions still claimed over 40,000 lives, according to preliminary estimates from the National Safety Council (NSC).

The total number of lives lost last year is estimated at 40,100, compared with the 2016 total of 40,327. The NSC says the small decline is not necessarily an indication of progress as much as a leveling off of the steepest two-year increase in over 50 years. The 2017 assessment is 6% higher than the number of deaths in 2015. If the estimate is accurate, it will be the second consecutive year that motor vehicle deaths topped 40,000.

“The price we are paying for mobility is 40,000 lives each year,” said NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman. “This is a stark reminder that our complacency is killing us. The only acceptable number is zero; we need to mobilize a full court press to improve roadway safety.”

Further estimate information can be found here.