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Posts Tagged ‘NSC’

NHTSA Says Traffic Fatalities on the Rise in 2015

More miles logged offsetting improved safety equipment.

by on Sep.01, 2015

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said he won't let up on automakers in a push for safety.

New vehicles in the U.S. are the safest vehicles ever built, but the country’s highways are seeing the highest fatality rates in nearly a decade and that has safety officials scrambling to figure out what to do about it.

Despite more cars and trucks than ever being equipped with collision prevention equipment and vehicles designed to crash in ways to better protect vehicle occupants, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced U.S. traffic deaths jumped 9.5% to an estimated 7,500 during the first quarter of 2015.

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Part of the increase is being blamed on the fact that due to an improved economy spurred by low gas prices, Americans are driving more. Miles logged are up 3.9% during the same period, but that doesn’t account for everything, according to safety experts. (more…)

Worldwide Road Deaths Decline in 2014

Fatalities drop 54 percent for car occupants.

by on May.27, 2015

Despite scenes like this one, traffic fatalities around the globe are falling, according to the International Transportation Forum.

Road deaths continued falling in 2014 in many parts of the world, according to latest data compiled by the International Transport Forum, which studied data from more than two dozen countries in Europe, East Asia and the Americas as well as Australia.

Moreover, while substantial overall fatality reductions have been achieved since the year 2000, the pace of improvement for vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, is lower than for car occupants, according to the International Road Traffic and Accident Database (IRTAD) organized by the ITF.

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While fatalities among car occupants were reduced by 54% between 2000 and 2013, decreases were only 36% for pedestrians, 35% for cyclists and 22% for motorcyclists. As a consequence in many countries, road safety priorities have recently shifted from motorized rural traffic to vulnerable road users in urban areas, the ITF noted. (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…)

Senate Kicks Distracted Driving Back to the States

Republicans and Democrats bow to industry over public safety.

by on Jun.10, 2010

Too many voters are using cell phones or other electronic tools for politicians to ban their use.

In 2008, almost 6,000 people died in crashes that involved distracted driving.

The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee has approved legislation (S. 1938), to offer “incentive grants” to states that enact laws to combat distracted driving.

The problem is that the bill does nothing to stop the epidemic of distracted driving deaths on U.S. roads. Too many voters are using cell phones and other electronic devices for politicians to ban their use.

The bill sponsored by Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) and Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) imposes no new mandates. It also would be funded through existing programs, reflecting awareness in Washington of growing public disapproval of runaway deficits during an election year, which will see one third of the Senate facing angry voters.

In 2008, almost 6,000 people died in crashes that involved distracted driving, or DD, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

NHTSA defines distracted driving as anything “that takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the steering wheel, or interrupts your concentration while driving.” DD now accounts for 16% of all traffic fatalities. In addition, 515,000 individuals were injured – 22% of total injuries – in crashes involving distracted driving in 2008.  (more…)

NSC Says All Driving Cell Phone Use is Dangerous

New white paper cites more than 30 scientific studies.

by on Mar.29, 2010

There's good reason the National Safety Council wants a ban on driving and cell phone use.

The National Safety Council released a white paper today describing the risks of using a cell phone while driving.

Titled “Understanding the distracted brain: Why driving while using hands-free cell phones is risky behavior,” it talks about the dangers of cell phones and hands-free devices, and the growing safety problems they pose. At any time, 11% percent of all drivers are using cell phones, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has so far done little about the growing safety problem.

NSC estimates more than one out of every four motor vehicle crashes involves cell phone use at the time of the crash. Each year, this distracted driving problem results in about 1.6 million crashes, hundreds of thousands of injuries, and thousands of deaths, according to the NSC.

The white paper includes references to more than 30 scientific studies and reports, describing how using a cell phone – hands-free or hand-held – requires the brain to multitask, a process it cannot do safely while driving. Using cell phones while driving not only impairs driving performance, but it also weakens the brain’s ability to capture crucial driving cues.

Among other things, the paper describes how drivers who use cell phones have a tendency to “look at” but not “see” up to 50% of the information in their driving environment. A form of “inattention blindness” occurs, which results in drivers having difficulty monitoring their surroundings, seeking and identifying potential hazards, and responding to unexpected situations.

“Cell phone use while driving has become a serious public health threat,” says Janet Froetscher, NSC president and CEO.    (more…)

Drivers More Distracted and at a Much Higher Risk Than They Realize

A new study from the National Safety Council says you overestimate your skills. Cell phones should be banned.

by on Apr.28, 2009

Despite clear evidence of the dangers of using cell phones will driving, national safety regulators are not doing anything.

Despite clear evidence of the dangers of using cell phones will driving, national safety regulators are not doing anything.

The National Safety Council has just cited a study published in the Journal of Safety Research that says drivers overestimate their skills and underestimate distractions caused by other activities while they drive. Particularly dangerous is the widespread use of cell phones.

In January the NSC urged a total ban on that activity, based on scientific estimates that cell phone use while driving contributes to 6% of crashes, or 636,000 wrecks, 330,000 injuries, 12,000 serious injuries, and 2,600 deaths each year. NSC estimates the annual financial toll of cell phone-related crashes at $43 billion.

“Our nation has reached a point where we estimate more than 100 million people are engaging in this dangerous behavior daily,” said Janet Froetscher, NSC president. Froetscher added that the issue is not the type of phone a driver uses, rather it is the distraction caused by the conversation. 

“Hands-free devices do not make cell phones any safer. Several studies indicate that the principle risk is the cognitive distraction. Studies also show that driving while talking on a cell phone is extremely dangerous and puts drivers at a four-times greater crash risk,” she said.  (more…)