Monthly Preliminary Motor-Vehicle Fatality Estimates – September 2023
September motor-vehicle deaths down 5% from 2022
The number of miles driven in September 2023 increased 0.9% compared to September 2022, and is 7.0% higher than in 2020. The number of deaths for September 2023 is estimated to be 4,000. This preliminary estimate is down 5% from 2022 and down 6% from 2021. With the number of deaths down, combined with an increase in miles driven, the monthly mileage death rate decreased 5.8% compared to 2022. The mileage death rate per 100 million vehicle miles driven for September 2023 is 1.45, compared to 1.54 in September 2022, 1.58 in September 2021, and 1.57 in September 2020.
Mileage source: Federal Highway Administration
- Data Table
Through September 2023, motor-vehicle deaths decreased by 15% or more in nine states compared to 2022:
- Nebraska (-24%, 48 fewer deaths)
- Maine (-23%, 29 fewer deaths)
- Hawaii (-21%, 19 fewer deaths)
- Massachusetts (-20%, 63 fewer deaths)
- New Jersey (-19%, 98 fewer deaths)
- Montana (-17%, 29 fewer deaths)
- New Mexico (-16%, 55 fewer deaths)
- Vermont (-16%, 10 fewer deaths)
- California (-15%, 458 fewer deaths)
Eight states and the District of Columbia experienced an increase of greater than 10% compared to the first nine months of 2022:
- Rhode Island (+50%, 19 more deaths)
- District of Columbia (+40%, 10 more deaths)
- Arizona (+38%, 255 more deaths)
- South Dakota (+34%, 28 more deaths)
- Idaho (+18%, 28 more deaths)
- Maryland (+16%, 62 more deaths)
- West Virginia (+11%, 19 more deaths)
- Kentucky (+11%, 61 more deaths)
- Iowa (+11%, 29 more deaths)
The line chart compares the 2023 monthly fatality trends against the 2022 and 2021 trends. Adjust the filter to select which years to compare. In September 2023, 27 states reported fewer deaths compared to September 2022 preliminary reports, 3 states reported no change, 19 states and the District of Columbia reported more deaths in September 2023 than September 2022, and 1 state was unable to provide a September estimate. Please use the data table to view detailed state preliminary estimates.
- Data Table
NSC preliminary motor-vehicle fatality estimates do not include U.S. territories.
How the National Safety Council 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 (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).
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, and December.
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.
To calculate national fatality estimates, percent change estimates are multiplied by the most recently available final motor-vehicle fatality estimates reported by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). 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.
All state level data are displayed as reported by each state. All fatality estimates are preliminary. To ensure proper comparisons, 2022 state fatality estimates are preliminary figures covering the same reporting period as those for 2023. In other words, preliminary 2023 estimates are compared to preliminary 2022 and 2021 estimates, even if updated estimates are available.