Motor vehicle deaths in the first six months of 2018 rose 2 percent in Virginia and fell 8 percent in Maryland, according to preliminary estimates from the National Safety Council. Nationally, about 18,720 people died on U.S. roads between January and June, compared with 18,770 in the same period a year ago.
The small drop is not so much an indication of progress as a stabilization of the steepest two-year increase in more than 50 years, which occurred between 2014 and 2016. If the preliminary 2018 estimate holds, the U.S. could see its third straight year with about 40,000 roadway deaths.
“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 National Safety Council. “We cannot accept more than 18,700 deaths as the price of mobility.”