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Posts Tagged ‘road deaths’

U-M Study Shows Fewer People Dying on U.S. Roads

Despite driving more, better vehicles providing more safety.

by on Jul.14, 2014

A new study from the University of Michigan shows traffic fatalities are declining, even after a one-year reversal of the trend.

The efforts of automakers to make cars and trucks safer during the last decade appear to be hitting the mark as U.S. fatalities have declined nearly 23% in recent years, according to a newly released survey. The drop comes despite the fact that people are driving more than ever.

Regardless of how the results are measured, traffic deaths have declined overall in the U.S., although some states have seen better results than others. The University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) released a study showing that between 2005 and 2012, the number of fatalities fell 22.7%. The numbers for 2013 aren’t compiled yet.

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The leading drops, in terms of simple numbers, came from Washington D.C. (68.8%), Nevada (39.6), Mississippi (37.5), New Hampshire (34.9%) and Missouri (34.3%). The top 11 states posted drops greater than 30%, according to the UMTRI study. (more…)

Feds Push Makers to Speed New Safety Tech into Cars

An era of "zero-collisions."

by on Nov.18, 2013

A prototype Nissan Leaf autonomous vehicle negotiates a simulated urban intersection, complete with cross traffic.

After a brief surge last year, federal data show that highway deaths are again on a sharp decline, falling an estimated 4.2% during the first half of this year. And while an ongoing crackdown on drunk driving is one factor for the 40% decline in fatalities over the last four decades, improved vehicle design and advanced safety hardware also are getting much of the credit.

That’s led the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to encourage the industry to fast-track new technical advances that many experts now believe could eventually lead to an era of zero fatalities.


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“Safety is our top priority and we can achieve remarkable progress in reducing injuries and fatalities in this era of innovation and technology,” proclaimed Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, who is asking for “real solutions that can significantly address safety issues that have plagued this nation for decades,” as part of NHTSA’s new “Significant and Seamless” initiative.


Highway Deaths Dip After Unexpected Jump in 2012

Fatalities near 60-year low.

by on Aug.29, 2013

Highway fatalities are again on the decline.

After an unexpected and worrisome jump in road deaths last year, preliminary federal figures indicate the numbers fell sharply during the first three months of 2013.

The government also lowered its road death count for all of 2012, though the adjusted numbers were still the worst in four years and marked the first time since 2005 that fatalities rose for a full year.  An increase in pedestrian and motorcycle deaths – particularly in states like Michigan where helmet laws have been dropped – contributed to last year’s unexpected surge.

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 7,200 people died in traffic accidents during the first quarter of 2013.  By comparison, 9,300 perished during the first three months of 2012, according to revised NHTSA numbers.  It’s the second quarter in a row that fatalities declined and a preliminary reversal of last year’s unexpected jump in the highway fatality rate.