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april 12-13-2011 03:27 AM

Decline of traffic deaths continue
The report for the year 2010 on traffic fatalities has just been launched by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic fatalities have been decreasing for several years and have continued to do this. This is great news for everybody on the road.

Still deaths from alcohol

Someone who has been drinking alcohol and is then driving is more dangerous than several other things. Probably the most recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report came out and showed info on traffic fatalities. It showed that several deaths are still coming from drunk driving.

According to the Wall Street Journal, 31 percent of all traffic fatalities last year were related to alcohol. USA Today reports that last year, there were 10,228 alcohol-related traffic deaths, which is a decrease from 2009’s 10,754 deaths from alcohol by 4.9 percent.

Another problem is distracted driving. Even though NHTSA criteria for distracted driving are now officially changed for this year, there were 3,092 deaths for this reason. There were way more distracted-related crashes in 2009. It was recorded at 5,474 fatalities.

Fewer and fewer fatalities

Since the 1980s, there have been de-creases in traffic fatalities. They have been going down quite a bit, the Wall Street Journal explains. The biggest decreases have been seen in fatalities from drunk driving. There has been a 41 percent decrease in fatalities from drunk driving since 2000. It has gone down to 10,228 from 17,380.

There has been a 2.9 percent decline from 2009 to 2010 in traffic deaths ending in 32,885 of them total, which is the smallest rate of deaths since 1949, as reported by MSNBC. According to USA Today, Americans have really driven 1.6 percent more miles last year, which equates to an extra 46 billion miles. Throughout the nation, Americans traveled around 3 trillion miles. That is a lot of driving.

Deaths dropped most sharply among the under-21 set. A 39 percent decrease was shown very well from 2006 to 2010. It went down 39 percent. Traffic fatalities overall declined by 23 percent in that peri-od. The volume of deaths in light trucks and vehicles for passen-gers went down also. There were more fatalities with pedestrians, heavy trucks and motor-cycles when it came to passengers though.

Pay attention when you drive

According to Automobile Magazine, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administra-tion is concerned with the volume of distracted-driving related accidents and fatali-ties, specifically those caused by using a phone behind the wheel.

Whether there was a mobile phone at the crash scene or not was recorded in 2009 while 2010’s recorded whether the phone was being used at all during the ride. The NHTSA is worried that phones are causing more deaths than they need to. There are increasingly more mobile phone-related deaths happening.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is doing a study where vehicles will have cameras and sensors in them to gauge how drivers response to distractions. Data will be collected and analyzed by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration to see how individuals react and how they drive when presented with a distraction. By 2014, that study should be finished.


Wall Street Journal
USA Today
USA Today
Automobile Magazine

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