Preliminary Estimates

State estimates

As shown on the map, motor-vehicle deaths in 2018 decreased by more than 9.4% in five states and increased by 5.8% or more in eight states compared to annual totals for 2017. For detailed state level estimates, select Data Table.

  • Chart
  • Data Table
How to Use Injury Facts® Charts and Tables

How NSC Calculates Crash Fatality Estimates

The National Safety Council (NSC) collects preliminary motor-vehicle fatality estimates from data reporters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. State data reporters generally work in state Department of Transportation offices and are often the same individuals responsible for providing data to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System.

Each month, state data reporters provide a first estimate for the previous month’s fatalities and updated estimates for all previously reported months.

NSC maintains a three-year database of all state motor-vehicle fatality estimate reports. Using January as an example, the NSC database includes the January estimate first reported in February, as well as any updated January estimates reported in March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December, and a final updated estimate collected in August of the following year.

Fatality estimates tend to mature over the course of the year. Numbers often increase as fatalities are confirmed. Because of the maturation of the data, NSC calculates year-to-year percent change estimates by comparing monthly motor-vehicle estimates of comparable maturity.

Percent change estimates are multiplied by the most recently available final motor-vehicle fatality estimates reported by the National Center for Health Statistics. Therefore, NSC estimates reflect the NCHS definition of motor-vehicle fatalities as both traffic and non-traffic deaths that occur within a year of the incident. Since NHTSA counts only traffic deaths that occur within 30 days of the incident, NSC motor-vehicle fatality estimates are not comparable to NHTSA figures.