Preliminary estimates suggest the United States may be benefiting from "risk mitigation actions implemented in the last few years," the council said in the news release. One example the group cited is the Vision Zero initiative, a strategy gaining momentum in major cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago and New York that works to improve traffic safety by taking actions such as redesigning high-crash areas. Another proven safety measure is lowering the legal alcohol-concentration limit for drivers.
The organization also said advanced driver-assistance systems — such as automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, backup cameras and adaptative headlights — help reduce the severity of crashes or prevent them.
The group said it is still too early to determine the exact cause-and-effect trends behind the 2019 deaths. But final data from 2018 showed distracted driving and drowsiness continued to be factors.