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NHTSA: Highway Deaths Rise Again, Including Those Involving Trucks

October 10, 2017

By David Cullen

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Photo: FMCSA
Photo: FMCSA

The latest traffic crash data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that 37,461 lives were lost on U.S. roads in calendar year 2016 – marking a significant increase of 5.6% over the same period in 2015.

NHTSA also found that the number of vehicle miles traveled on U.S. roads increased by 2.2% last year. That resulted in a fatality rate of 1.18 deaths per 100 million VMT – equating to 2.6% increase from the previous year.

As to fatalities resulting from crashes involving large trucks, the agency recorded a 5.4% jump in those over 2015, the highest since 2007. Of those 4,317 fatalities, 16.7% (722 persons) were occupants of large trucks, 10.8% were “non-occupants,” and 72.4% were occupants of other vehicles.

Another key finding was a drop in overall fatalities tied to distracted and drowsy driving. Distraction-related deaths fell 2.2% (3,450 fatalities) and drowsy-driving deaths dropped 3.5% (803 fatalities).

On the other hand, deaths related to “other reckless behaviors – including speeding, alcohol impairment, and not wearing seat belts – continued to increase.”

Also of interest:  Motorcyclist and pedestrian deaths together accounted for more than a third of the year-to-year increase in total highway fatalities.

Here are the categories that saw increases in the rate of fatalities for 2016:

  • Drunk-driving deaths (10,497 fatalities) increased 1.7%
  • Speeding-related deaths (10,111 fatalities) increased 4.0%
  • Unbelted deaths (10,428 fatalities) increased by 4.6%
  • Motorcyclist deaths (5,286 fatalities – the largest number of motorcyclist fatalities since 2008) increased 5.1%
  • Pedestrian deaths (5,987 fatalities – the highest number since 1990) increased by 9.0%
  • Bicyclist deaths (840 fatalities – the highest number since 1991) increased 1.3%

NHTSA stated that some 94% of serious crashes involve drivers who make “poor choices.”

The agency noted in a statement that it will continue to promote vehicle technologies that “hold the potential to reduce the number of crashes and save thousands of lives every year, and may eventually help reduce or eliminate human error and the mistakes that drivers make behind the wheel.”

 

Comments

  1. 1. Stephen [ October 10, 2017 @ 08:10PM ]

    There are well over 100 million US driver. MOST drive between point A and B safely daily.

    Next STOP comparing 2015 and 2016 to the Recession years of 2008 thru 2014. Those years SKEWED the data! (The last boom years like 2015 and 2016 was 2007, which had higher deaths and DR than 2015 and 2016..

    YOU SEE any comparison to 2008 thru 2014 is MISLEADING because those were the RECESSION YEARS

    IN 2007 2007 US Death rate per mile 1.36 Total Deaths 41,259 Miles Driven 3.031 Trillion

    When the Recession Began the deaths dropped NOT because of some “miracle” safety or patrol BUT BECAUSE PEOPLE could not afford to drive due to $4.00 Unleaded!

    2008 US Death rate per mile 1.26 Total deaths 37,423. Miles Driven 2.977 Trillion (2,977 VMT Billion)
    Full year of recession
    2009 US Death rate per mile 1.15 Total deaths 33,883. Miles Driven 2.957 Trillion

    http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Main/index.aspx

    So we DROPPED almost 8000 deaths in 2 years BECAUSE OF RECESSION.

    Car is incredible safe overall. WE HAVE 100 million of drivers out there. Heck Medical mistakes kill more people. 400,000 in 2014! http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/deaths-by-medical-mistakes-hit-records

    The misleading by some “advocates” doesn’t stop there.

    Even the “speeding” claim is misleading as it counts 1. ILLEGAL street racing, 2. CRASHES BELOW the limit too fast, and 3. And CRASH ABOVE THE LIMIT REGARDLESS OF CAUSE! http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/52/5278.asp .

    Here are the NHTSA FARS data back to 2006.

    http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Main/index.aspx
    2006 US Death rate per mile 1.42 Total Deaths 42,708 Miles Driven 3.014 Trillion (3,014 VMT Billion)
    2007 US Death rate per mile 1.36 Total Deaths 41,259 Miles Driven 3.031 Trillion
    Recession Begins
    2008 US Death rate per mile 1.26 Total deaths 37,423. Miles Driven 2.977 Trillion (2,977 VMT Billion)
    Full year of recession
    2009 US Death rate per mile 1.15 Total deaths 33,883. Miles Driv

  2. 2. alamo [ October 11, 2017 @ 03:28AM ]

    Some Progressive states have a solution, Legalize Marijuana. That will most certainly affect motor vehicle related deaths and injuries.

 

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