Highway Safety

MOTOR VEHICLE CRASHES

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 32,885 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2010, the lowest level since record keeping began in 1949. Motor vehicle deaths in 2010 were down 2.9 percent from 33,883 in 2009, despite the fact that the number of vehicle miles traveled increased by 1.6 percent in 2010, compared with 2009. The fatality rate, measured as deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, was 1.10, the lowest rate ever recorded and down from 1.15 in 2009. NHTSA property damage figures shown below are based on accidents reported to the police and do not include fender bender accidents.

Fifty more people die in traffic crashes during Thanksgiving week than during other weeks of the year, according to a new University of Alabama study. Speeding, alcohol, time of day, weather, factors that affect crashes all year, are exaggerated during the holiday.

MOTOR VEHICLE CRASHES, 2001-2010

Year Fatal Injury Property damage only Total crashes
2001 37,862 2,002,710 4,282,391 6,322,963
2002 38,491 1,928,984 4,348,233 6,315,708
2003 38,477 1,924,912 4,364,566 6,327,955
2004 38,444 1,861,617 4,280,966 6,181,027
2005 39,252 1,816,105 4,303,993 6,159,350
2006 38,648 1,745,924 4,188,641 5,973,213
2007 37,435 1,711,000 4,275,000 6,024,000
2008 34,172 1,630,000 4,146,000 5,811,000
2009 30,862 1,517,000 3,957,000 5,505,000
2010 30,196 1,542,000 3,847,000 5,419,000

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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TRAFFIC DEATHS, 2002-2011

Year Fatalities Annual percent change Fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled Fatality rate per 100,000 registered vehicles
2002 43,005 1.9% 1.51 19.06
2003 42,884 -0.3 1.48 18.59
2004 42,836 -0.1 1.44 18.00
2005 43,510 1.6 1.46 17.71
2006 42,708 -1.8 1.42 16.99
2007 41,259 -3.4 1.36 16.02
2008 37,423 -9.3 1.26 14.43
2009 33,883 -9.5 1.15 13.08
2010 32,885 -2.9 1.11 12.77
2011 (1) 32,310 -1.7 1.09 NA
  1. Preliminary.

NA=Data not available.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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  • The number of people injured in motor vehicle crashes rose by 1.2 percent from 2.22 million in 2009 to 2.24 million in 2010.
  • The injury rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled was 75 in both 2009 and 2010.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, vehicle occupants accounted for 83 percent of traffic deaths in 2010. Motorcycle riders accounted for 14 percent. Pedestrians accounted for another 13 percent; pedalcyclists and other nonoccupants accounted for the remainder.

MOTOR VEHICLE TRAFFIC DEATHS BY STATE, 2006-2007

Number of deaths
State 2006 2007 Percent change
Alabama 1,207 1,110 -8.0%
Alaska 74 84 14.0
Arizona 1,293 1,066 -18.0
Arkansas 665 650 -2.3
California 4,240 3,974 -6.3
Colorado 535 554 3.6
Connecticut 311 277 -11.0
Delaware 148 117 -21.0
D.C. 37 44 19.0
Florida 3,357 3,214 -4.3
Georgia 1,693 1,641 -3.1
Hawaii 161 138 -14.0
Idaho 267 252 -5.6
Illinois 1,254 1,249 -0.4
Indiana 902 898 -0.4
Iowa 439 445 1.4
Kansas 468 416 -11.0
Kentucky 913 864 -5.4
Louisiana 987 985 -0.2
Maine 188 183 -2.7
Maryland 652 614 -5.8
Massachusetts 429 417 -2.8
Michigan 1,086 1,088 0.2
Minnesota 494 504 2.0
Mississippi 911 884 -3.0
Missouri 1,096 992 -9.5
Montana 264 277 4.9
Nebraska 269 256 -4.8
Nevada 431 373 -13.0
New Hampshire 127 129 1.6
New Jersey 771 724 -6.1
New Mexico 484 413 -15.0
New York 1,454 1,333 -8.3
North Carolina 1,554 1,675 7.8
North Dakota 111 111 0.0
Ohio 1,238 1,257 1.5
Oklahoma 765 754 -1.4
Oregon 478 455 -4.8
Pennsylvania 1,525 1,491 -2.2
Rhode Island 81 69 -15.0
South Carolina 1,045 1,066 2.0
South Dakota 191 146 -24.0
Tennessee 1,284 1,210 -5.8
Texas 3,531 3,363 -4.8
Utah 287 299 4.2
Vermont 87 66 -24.0
Virginia 962 1,027 6.8
Washington 633 568 -10.0
West Virginia 410 431 5.1
Wisconsin 724 756 4.4
Wyoming 195 150 -23.0
United States 42,708 41,059 -3.9%

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

DRIVERS IN MOTOR VEHICLE CRASHES BY AGE, 2010

Age group Number of licensed drivers Percent of total Drivers in fatal crashes Involvement rate (1) Drivers in all crashes Involvement rate (1)
Under 16 397,541 0.2% 160 NA 30,000 NA
16 to 20 12,584,467 6.0 4,487 35.66 1,300,000 10,328
21 to 24 14,042,407 6.7 4,585 32.65 1,120,000 7,979
25 to 34 36,280,367 17.3 8,540 23.54 1,911,000 5,268
35 to 44 37,339,135 17.8 7,313 19.59 1,752,000 4,693
45 to 54 41,442,309 19.7 7,490 18.07 1,554,000 3,751
55 to 64 34,297,095 16.3 5,554 16.19 1,026,000 2,991
65 to 74 19,698,915 9.4 2,894 14.69 512,000 2,599
Over 74 14,032,703 6.7 2,666 19.00 336,000 2,396
Total 210,114,939 100.0% 44,440 (2) 21.15 9,542,000 (2) 4,542
  1. Per 100,000 licensed drivers.
  2. Includes drivers of unknown age.

NA=Not applicable.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; Federal Highway Administration.

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MOTOR VEHICLE DEATHS PER 100,000 PERSONS BY AGE, 2010

Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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SEX OF DRIVERS INVOLVED IN CRASHES, 2001-2010 (1)

Fatal crashes Injury crashes
Male Female Male Female
Year Number Rate (2) Number Rate (2) Number Rate (2) Number Rate (2)
2001 41,548 43.38 14,829 15.53 2,089,927 2,182 1,546,973 1,620
2002 41,995 43.03 14,876 15.34 2,000,043 2,049 1,481,476 1,528
2003 42,177 42.95 15,106 15.43 1,989,702 2,026 1,524,785 1,557
2004 41,876 42.06 15,272 15.38 1,911,852 1,920 1,482,315 1,493
2005 42,947 42.84 14,967 14.92 1,836,711 1,832 1,425,161 1,421
2006 41,912 41.49 14,661 14.43 1,762,552 1,745 1,387,324 1,366
2007 40,804 39.82 14,099 13.65 1,719,000 1,677 1,339,000 1,296
2008 36,881 35.59 12,568 12.00 1,609,000 1,553 1,280,000 1,223
2009 32,807 31.47 11,825 11.22 1,499,561 1,438 1,224,613 1,162
2010 31,965 30.63 11,811 11.17 1,516,000 1,453 1,265,000 1,196
Property damage-only crashes Total crashes
Male Female Male Female
Year Number Rate (2) Number Rate (2) Number Rate (2) Number Rate (2)
2001 4,517,730 4,717 2,903,319 3,041 6,649,205 6,942 4,465,121 4,677
2002 4,436,198 4,545 2,999,111 3,093 6,478,236 6,638 4,495,463 4,636
2003 4,527,515 4,610 3,019,961 3,084 6,559,394 6,679 4,559,852 4,657
2004 4,404,779 4,424 3,037,126 3,058 6,358,507 6,387 4,534,713 4,566
2005 4,357,188 4,347 3,007,038 2,998 6,236,846 6,222 4,447,166 4,435
2006 4,232,184 4,190 2,967,964 2,922 6,036,648 5,976 4,369,949 4,302
2007 4,345,000 4,241 3,066,000 2,968 6,105,000 5,968 4,418,000 4,278
2008 4,174,000 4,028 2,967,000 2,834 5,820,000 5,617 4,260,000 4,069
2009 3,913,473 3,753 2,931,260 2,782 5,445,840 5,223 4,167,698 3,956
2010 3,854,000 3,693 2,862,000 2,707 5,402,000 5,176 4,139,000 3,915
  1. Drivers age 16 and over, including motorcycle riders and restricted and graduated drivers license holders in some states.
  2. Rate per 100,000 licensed drivers.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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DRIVING BEHAVIORS REPORTED FOR DRIVERS AND MOTORCYCLE OPERATORS INVOLVED IN FATAL CRASHES, 2010

Behavior Number of drivers Percent
Driving too fast for conditions or in excess of posted speed limit 9,532 21.4%
Failure to keep in proper lane or running off road 7,436 16.7
Under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medication 7,052 15.9
Failure to yield right of way 3,196 7.2
Distracted (phone, talking, eating, etc.) 2,912 6.6
Operating vehicle in erratic, reckless, careless or negligent manner 2,438 5.5
Overcorrecting/oversteering 2,034 4.6
Failure to obey traffic signs, signals or officer 1,912 4.3
Swerving or avoiding due to wind, slippery surface, other
vehicle, object, nonmotorist on roadway, etc.
1,687 3.8
Vision obscured (rain, snow, glare, lights, buildings, trees, etc.) 1,426 3.2
Driving wrong way in one-way traffic or on wrong side of road 1,356 3.1
Drowsy, asleep, fatigued, ill or blacked out 1,218 2.7
Making improper turn 970 2.2
Other factors 5,971 13.4
Unknown 3,408 7.7
None reported 13,521 30.4
Total drivers (1) 44,440 100.0%
  1. The sum of the figures in the number of drivers column is greater than “total drivers” as more than one factor may be present for the same driver.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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CRASHES BY FIRST HARMFUL EVENT, TYPE OF COLLISION AND CRASH SEVERITY, 2009

Crash severity
Fatal Injury Property damage only Total crashes
Type of collision Number Percent of total fatal crashes Number Percent of total injury crashes Number Percent of total property damage only crashes Number Percent of total crashes
Collision with moving motor vehicle
Angle 5,637 18.3% 448,000 29.5% 965,000 24.4% 1,418,000 25.8%
Rear end 1,674 5.4 448,000 29.5 1,283,000 32.4 1,733,000 31.5
Sideswipe 757 2.5 58,000 3.8 367,000 9.3 426,000 7.7
Head on 3,007 9.8 60,000 4.0 63,000 1.6 126,000 2.3
Other/unknown 115 0.4 2,000 0.1 15,000 0.4 17,000 0.3
Total 11,190 36.3 1,016,000 66.9 2,693,000 68.1 3,720,000 67.6
Collision with fixed object
Pole/post 1,557 5.1 55,000 3.6 141,000 3.6 198,000 3.6
Culvert/curb/ditch 2,488 8.1 56,000 3.7 116,000 2.9 175,000 3.2
Shrubbery/tree 2,697 8.8 45,000 3.0 61,000 1.5 109,000 2.0
Guard rail 900 2.9 27,000 1.8 72,000 1.8 100,000 1.8
Embankment 1,018 3.3 21,000 1.4 30,000 0.8 52,000 0.9
Bridge 224 0.7 5,000 0.4 8,000 0.2 14,000 0.2
Other/unknown 1,671 5.4 60,000 3.9 166,000 4.2 227,000 4.1
Total 10,555 34.3 270,000 17.8 594,000 15.0 875,000 15.9
Collision with object, not fixed
Parked motor vehicle 335 1.1 28,000 1.8 311,000 7.9 339,000 6.2
Animal 173 0.6 12,000 0.8 260,000 6.6 272,000 4.9
Pedestrian 3,803 12.3 53,000 3.5 1,000 (1) 57,000 1.0
Pedalcyclist 626 2.0 49,000 3.3 3,000 0.1 53,000 1.0
Train 122 0.4 (2) (1) (2) (1) 1,000 (1)
Other/unknown 298 1.0 7,000 0.4 30,000 0.8 37,000 0.7
Total 5,357 17.4 148,000 9.8 605,000 15.3 759,000 13.8
Noncollision
Rollover 3,282 10.7 77,000 5.1 38,000 1.0 119,000 2.2
Other/unknown 384 1.2 6,000 0.4 26,000 0.7 33,000 0.6
Total 3,666 11.9 83,000 5.5 64,000 1.6 151,000 2.8
Total 30,797 (3) 100.0% 1,517,000 100.0% 3,957,000 100.0% 5,505,000 100.0%
  1. Less than 0.05 percent.
  2. Less than 500 crashes.
  3. Includes 29 crashes with unknown first harmful event.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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DISTRACTED DRIVING

Activities that take drivers’ attention off the road, such as talking or texting on cellphones, eating, conversing with passengers and other distractions, are a major safety threat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has revised the way it measures distracted driving, introducing a new measure called “distraction-affected crashes.” This refinement focuses more narrowly on crashes in which a driver was most likely to have been distracted. The old measure recorded a broad range of potential distractions such as careless driving or a cell phone present in the vehicle. The new measure focuses on distractions that are most likely to affect crash involvement such as distraction by dialing a cellphone or texting and distraction by an outside person or event. NHTSA said there were 3,092 fatalities in “distraction-affected” crashes in 2010. In 2009 NHTSA said there were 5,474 “distraction-related” fatalities. The two measures are distinct and cannot be compared. Another annual survey by NHTSA found that the percentage of all drivers using hand-held cellphones was 5 percent in both 2009 and 2010.

However, texting bans may not reduce crash rates, according to a Highway Loss Data Institute study of collision claims patterns in California, Louisiana, Minnesota and Washington before and after texting bans went into effect. Collisions went up slightly in all the states, except Washington, where the change was statistically insignificant.

Teen girls are twice as likely as teen boys to use cell phones and other electronic devices while driving, according to a March, 2012 study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

FATAL CRASHES AFFECTED BY DISTRACTED DRIVERS, 2010

Crashes Drivers Fatalities
Total fatal crashes 30,196 44,440 32,885
Distracted-affected (D-A) fatal crashes
Number 2,843 2,912 3,092
Percent of total fatal crashes 9% 7% 9%
Cellphone in use in D-A fatal crashes
Number 355 367 408
Percent of fatal D-A crashes 12% 13% 13%
  • Distraction was a factor in 9 percent of the 30,196 fatal crashes reported in 2010.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS

In 2010, 4,280 pedestrians died in traffic crashes, up 4 percent from the 4,109 pedestrian deaths recorded in 2009, according to a 2012 report by the U.S Department of Transportation. In 2010, pedestrian deaths accounted for 13 percent of all traffic fatalities. In addition, 70,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes in 2010, accounting for 3 percent of all the people injured in traffic crashes. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of pedestrian deaths happened at night. The majority of pedestrian deaths in 2010 (73 percent) occurred in urban environments, with nearly 80 percent of these deaths taking place at non-intersections and almost 90 percent in clear weather. The findings coincide with new Census data showing that the number of people living in downtown areas is increasing.

Article Source: http://www.iii.org

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