WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao announced today that highway crash data for the first nine months of 2019 show a reduction of 2.2% in fatalities compared to the first nine months of 2018. Under this Administration and Secretary Chao’s leadership, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has made safety its top priority.
“This is positive news, but more work remains to be done to make our roads safer for everyone,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
In the first nine months of 2019, an estimated 26,730 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes.
As the holidays approach, DOT is partnering with law enforcement officers across the nation to look for – and stop – impaired drivers.
“Sadly, over 800 people lost their lives due to an impaired driver last December; that’s a lot of empty chairs around the dinner table,” Secretary Chao said in a video statement.
More than ten thousand lives were lost last year due to impaired driving, which is nearly a third of all highway traffic deaths in 2018, according to DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
“All of these deaths could have been prevented,” said Secretary Chao. “So please make the right choice this holiday season. It can save your life and other precious lives on the road.”
In addition to tens of thousands of law enforcement officers on heightened alert for impaired drivers this holiday season, DOT launched a $8 million media campaign running through January 1, 2020 that includes a mix of advertisements on television, radio, cinema and social media.
DOT’s drive sober or get pulled over television ad can be viewed here: