Estimated traffic fatalities decreased in 2019 despite an increase in driving, according to a report from the NHTSA released on Wednesday.

There were projected to be 36,120 traffic fatalities in 2019, which is a 1.2% decrease from 2018. It marks the third consecutive year of declines from a post-recession high point of 37,806 traffic fatalities in 2016.

“Safety is our top priority so this report that traffic fatalities appear to have decreased again for the third year is great news,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

At the same time, the total number of vehicle miles traveled increased 0.9% in 2019.

Of the ten NHTSA regions across the country, only the southeastern part of the United States experienced an increase in traffic fatalities. While organizations such as the IIHS are touting the proliferation of driver assistance systems and standard safety…

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