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Posts Tagged ‘auto fatalities’

Death Toll Rises as U.S. Drivers Keep Engaging in Distracted Driving

Drivers repeating the same mistakes, unrelenting in attitude about behaviors.

by on Apr.04, 2017

U.S. motorists are still exhibiting the same distracted driving behaviors they've been warned about for years.

Highway fatalities had been dropping for more than a decade until two years, when that trend began to reverse direction. A look by a safety organization revealed the behaviors drivers are engaging in behind the wheel ratcheting that number up.

As part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the National Safety Council identified some of the top driver behaviors and beliefs that put all roadway users at risk and increase the likelihood of being involved in a crash.

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Yes. Most of them involve some already identified behaviors drivers know they shouldn’t do, but clearly do anyway. Compiled through NSC surveys conducted over the last 12 months, these habits and opinions could help partially explain why deaths are on the rise.  (more…)

US Traffic Deaths on Unexpected Rise

“Uptick shows no sign of subsiding,” says National Safety Council.

by on May.27, 2015

After steady declines for decades, highway fatalities are on the rise again.

After several decades of generally steady declines, automotive highway deaths have begun ticking upward again, notes the National Safety Council.

The organization warns that the situation could grow worse during what safety groups call “The 100 Deadliest Days,” the period when Americans tend to travel most for summer vacations. The new report coincides with the release of a separate study by the AAA outlining the safety risks posed by teen drivers off from school.

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“While the statistics point out a dangerous trend, we have the ability to influence outcomes through our choices and behavior,” said Deborah Hersman, the president and CEO of the National Safety Council, or NSC. “Summer is typically a high-exposure period with lots of miles driven and several long holiday weekends. Take your responsibilities behind the wheel this summer seriously and ensure that you get to your destination safety.” (more…)

U-M Study Claims U.S. Drivers More Dangerous than Europeans

More likely to die from cancer, heart disease in America.

by on Feb.20, 2014

The areas shaded in red are the most dangerous places to drive in the world based on World Health Organization data.

Most drivers in the United States believe they’re pretty good behind the wheel. And if you compare the number of deaths by car accidents with those of cancer or heart disease, they’re right.

However, once the numbers get compared to other countries around the world, U.S. drivers don’t fare quite as well, according to a recent study from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute.

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Worldwide, there is an average of 18 auto fatalities per 100,000 people. The U.S. is actually better than the average at just 14 deaths, but compared to other industrialized nations, the number’s not all that impressive. (more…)

Younger Women More Likely to Die in Crashes

But for elderly, men are more vulnerable.

by on May.30, 2013

Women are generally more likely to die in a crash than a man of similar age.

Young women are more likely to die, in otherwise equivalent crashes, than men of the same age, according to a new study by federal safety regulators.

That goes for both women drivers and female passengers between the ages of 21 and 30, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But NHTSA also says the situation reverses itself in old age, when it’s men who have a significantly higher risk of being killed in crashes.

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“Young adult females are more fragile than males of the same age, but later in life women are less frail than their male contemporaries,” said the NHTSA report.


Stability Control Systems Yielding Dramatic Drop in SUV Death Rate

Sport-utes now safer than passenger cars thanks to anti-skid, anti-rollover technology.

by on Jun.09, 2011

A new study finds that with the increased use of anti-rollover technology SUVs now have a lower death rate than comparable passenger cars.

Your odds of dying or being seriously injured in the crash of an SUV – especially a rollover accident – has dropped sharply in recent years, according to a new report by an insurance industry trade group that gives much of the credit to the electronic stability control systems that are now becoming standard equipment.

While many motorists tend to view big sport-utility vehicles as a safe option because they sit higher, offer broader visibility over traffic – and have plenty of sheet metal surrounding the passenger compartment – utes have traditionally had higher death rates than comparably-sized sedans and coupes.  The big problem has been rollovers, which are far more common in truck-based vehicles, and which are responsible for a significant share of SUV deaths and injuries.

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But the situation has reversed itself now that a large and growing number of sport-utility vehicles come equipped with electronic stability control, a technology designed to help maintain control in poor driving conditions or when a driver makes an error like over-accelerating into a corner.  Most of the digitially controlled ESC systems used in trucks add software to minimize the risk of rollovers.

“The rollover risk in SUVs used to outweigh their size/weight advantage, but that’s no longer the case,” thanks to electronic stability control, or ESC, said Anne McCartt, the senior vice president for research at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. “Pound for pound, SUVs have lower death rates.”


Highway Deaths Plunge to Lowest Level Since 1949

Data could challenge assumptions about distracted driving “epidemic.”

by on Apr.01, 2011

Improved vehicle design gets some of the credit, experts say, for declining highway fatalities.

While officials caution it’s still a sizable toll, U.S. highway deaths dropped to 32,788 last year, the lowest level since 1949, continuing a relatively steady decline that safety experts credit to a variety of factors.

The 2010 number was a 3% drop from the year before, when 33,808 Americans were killed in motor vehicle and pedestrian collisions.  And the 2009 number was itself a nearly 10% decline from the year before that.

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Despite the decline, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood sounded a cautionary note when releasing the data, stressing, “Too many of our friends and neighbors are killed in preventable roadway tragedies every day. We will continue doing everything possible to make cars safer, increase seat belt use, put a stop to drunk driving and distracted driving and encourage drivers to put safety first.”

Exactly what is behind the latest dip in highway deaths is likely to trigger a flurry of debate.  Often, in years past, sharp declines in the overall death toll accompanied economic downturns, when American motorists reined in discretionary driving.  But that wasn’t the case in 2010.


Why Are Auto Fatalities Going Up in Some States?

Odds and ends from the Safety Nag.

by on Jul.20, 2009

Auto fatalities are, on the whole, heading downward. So why are the numbers rising in a few, unfortunate states?

Auto fatalities are, on the whole, heading downward. So why are the numbers rising in a few, unfortunate states, including Colorado and Kansas?

Here’s your old safety nag at it again…yak, yak, yak, safety belts, drinkin’ n’ drivin’, yak, yak, yak.  Still, the mainstream media doesn’t pay much attention to automotive safety, except for occasional blasts about purportedly “unsafe” cars, usually reserved for Detroit automakers, and often based on claims by plaintiff lawyers.

But anyone with his or her head screwed on knows better than to blame it all on the car, and I’m here to supply you with facts, occasional opinions and nag-nag-nag.

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Among the odds and ends of auto safety news, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released an eight-page “brief summary” of the almost-final safety stats for 2008-preliminaries were reported in this space months ago-as well as new information on the first quarter of 2009.  Readers will recall that nationally, deaths from highway crashes (including “pedalcycles” and pedestrians) last year were down approximately 10% from 2007, as were those involving alcohol-impaired driving.  And safety belt usage was up in almost all states.