Kentucky drivers should be glad to hear that in 2019, the number of car crash fatalities in this country went down for the second consecutive year. Still, the numbers are shockingly high. The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 38,000 people died in auto accidents in 2019, which represents a 2% decline from the 39,404 who died in 2018 and a 4% decline from the 40,231 deaths in 2017.

Compared to 2018, 2019 saw 2% fewer cases of people seeking medical attention for crash injuries. That still came out to 4.4 million people. The NSC is calling for a greater commitment not just among safety organizations, but also among drivers to saving lives.

Fatality rates differed by state

Some states became significantly safer in 2019. Vermont saw a 31% decrease in crash fatalities and New Hampshire a 30% decrease. Both South Dakota and Washington, D.C., experienced a 21% drop. For other states, unfortunately, the opposite happened. There was a 35% jump in Maine and a 32% increase in Wyoming.

The differences are to be expected as some large cities are more vigilant than others. Some 10 large cities have adopted what’s called the Vision Zero model for making streets safer. This means looking forward to a future of zero fatalities. To crack down on DUIs, Utah has adopted a 0.05 blood alcohol concentration for its legal limit, and some states may follow suit.

How to stay safer on the roads

The NSC has several safety recommendations. Drivers should get adequate sleep to prevent drowsiness, avoid phone use and other distractions, and arrange for their transportation if they go out and intend to drink alcohol. Drivers could consider purchasing safety features like automatic emergency braking.

What you can do after a car accident

Perhaps you were one of the 4.4. million who suffered injuries in a car wreck last year. You may pursue a personal injury case if you were clearly the victim of another’s negligence, and your insurance company cannot cover all your medical bills and other losses. A lawyer may help you file your claim, handle negotiations and more.