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The Economic and Societal Impact Of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010

June 3, 2014 Comments off

The Economic and Societal Impact Of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010 (PDF)
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

In 2010, there were 32,999 people killed, 3.9 million were injured, and 24 million vehicles were damaged in motor vehicle crashes in the United States. The economic costs of these crashes totaled $277 billion. Included in these losses are lost productivity, medical costs, legal and court costs, emergency service costs (EMS), insurance administration costs, congestion costs, property damage, and workplace losses. The $277 billion cost of motor vehicle crashes represents the equivalent of nearly $897 for each of the 308.7 million people living in the United States, and 1.9 percent of the $14.96 trillion real U.S. Gross Domestic Product for 2010. These figures include both police-reported and unreported crashes. When quality of life valuations are considered, the total value of societal harm from motor vehicle crashes in 2010 was $871 billion. Lost market and household productivity accounted for $93 billion of the total $277 billion economic costs, while property damage accounted for $76 billion. Medical expenses totaled $35 billion. Congestion caused by crashes, including travel delay, excess fuel consumption, greenhouse gases and criteria pollutants accounted for $28 billion. Each fatality resulted in an average discounted lifetime cost of $1.4 million. Public revenues paid for roughly 9 percent of all motor vehicle crash costs, costing tax payers $24 billion in 2010, the equivalent of over $200 in added taxes for every household in the United States. Alcohol involved crashes accounted for $59 billion or 21 percent of all economic costs, and 84 percent of these costs occurred in crashes where a driver or non-occupant had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or greater. Alcohol was the cause of the crash in roughly 82 percent of these cases, causing $49 billion in costs. Crashes in which alcohol levels are BAC of .08 or higher are responsible for over 90 percent of the economic costs and societal harm that occurs in crashes attributable to alcohol use. Crashes in which police indicate that at least one driver was exceeding the legal speed limit or driving too fast for conditions cost $59 billion in 2010. Seat belt use prevented 12,500 fatalities, 308,000 serious injuries, and $69 billion in injury related costs in 2010, but the failure of a substantial portion of the driving population to buckle up caused 3,350 unnecessary fatalities, 54,300 serious injuries, and cost society $14 billion in easily preventable injury related costs. Crashes in which at least one driver was identified as being distracted cost $46 billion in 2010. The report also includes data on the costs associated with motorcycle crashes, failure to wear motorcycle helmets, pedestrian crash, bicyclist crashes, and numerous different roadway designation crashes.

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Model National Standards For Entry-Level Motorcycle Rider Training

May 15, 2014 Comments off

Model National Standards For Entry-Level Motorcycle Rider Training (PDF)
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Specific, strong, and measurable education standards are tools to ensure students receive the level of information and experience necessary to properly prepare them for real- world riding situations. In addition to providing that foundation, the Model National Standards for Entry-level Motorcycle Rider Training (“Model Standards”) permit greater flexibility in course development and delivery. The Model Standards also facilitate growth and improvement in State education systems.

The Model Standards establish baseline content that all entry-level riders should be taught in motorcycle rider training classes held in United States. States are encouraged to work with curriculum developers to not only include lessons that meet the Model Standards but to also go beyond the standards where needed to address specific State crash causes and trends Tailoring curricula to specific State needs, in addition to delivering baseline content, will produce informed students and safer riders.

Driver Electronic Device Use in 2012

May 6, 2014 Comments off

Driver Electronic Device Use in 2012 (PDF)
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

The percentage of drivers text-messaging or visibly manip – ulating hand-held devices increased from 1.3 percent in 2011 to 1.5 percent in 2012; however, this was not a statistically significant increase. Driver hand-held cell phone use remained unchanged at 5 percent in 2012 (Figure 1). These results are from the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS), which provides the only nation – wide probability-based observed data on driver electronic device use in the United States. The NOPUS is conducted annually by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The 2012 NOPUS found that hand-held cell phone use continued to be higher among female drivers than male drivers (Figure 2). It also found that hand-held cell phone use continued to be highest among 16- to 24-year-olds and lowest among drivers 70 and older (Figure 3).

NHTSA Announces Final Rule Requiring Rear Visibility Technology

March 31, 2014 Comments off

NHTSA Announces Final Rule Requiring Rear Visibility Technology
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today issued a final rule requiring rear visibility technology in all new vehicles under 10,000 pounds by May 2018. This new rule enhances the safety of these vehicles by significantly reducing the risk of fatalities and serious injuries caused by backover accidents.

Today’s final rule requires all vehicles under 10,000 pounds, including buses and trucks, manufactured on or after May 1, 2018, to come equipped with rear visibility technology that expands the field of view to enable the driver of a motor vehicle to detect areas behind the vehicle to reduce death and injury resulting from backover incidents. The field of view must include a 10-foot by 20-foot zone directly behind the vehicle. The system must also meet other requirements including image size, linger time, response time, durability, and deactivation.

On average, there are 210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries per year caused by backover crashes. NHTSA has found that children under 5 years old account for 31 percent of backover fatalities each year, and adults 70 years of age and older account for 26 percent.

NHTSA — Older Driver Traffic Safety Plan

January 3, 2014 Comments off

Older Driver Traffic Safety Plan (PDF)
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

This report contains a description of NHTSA’s plans to address the following topics:

• Screening and Assessment – Relating to medical providers, families, licensing agencies, law enforcement, and older drivers in all efforts to improve the value of screening and assessment of driving abilities.

• Licensing – Including efforts to improve the validity and value of licensing actions relating to medically at-risk drivers and communications between licensing and others regarding at-risk drivers.

• Medical Providers – Focusing on medical providers and older driver issues outside the scope of screening and assessment, such as medication reviews and revisions of medically-oriented materials.

• Public Education and Program Promotion – Identifying activities to promote and evaluate education programs for older drivers and their families, including driver retraining courses. This area also includes law enforcement.

• Other Activities – Researching topics that are important to explore, but do not otherwise fit into the above categories.

NHTSA Data Confirms Traffic Fatalities Increased In 2012

November 15, 2013 Comments off

NHTSA Data Confirms Traffic Fatalities Increased In 2012
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today released the 2012 Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data indicating that highway deaths increased to 33,561 in 2012, which is 1,082 more fatalities than in 2011. The majority of the increase in deaths, 72 percent, occurred in the first quarter of the year. Most of those involved were motorcyclists and pedestrians.

While the newly released data announced today marks the first increase since 2005, highway deaths over the past five years continue to remain at historic lows. Fatalities in 2011 were at the lowest level since 1949 and even with this slight increase in 2012, we are still at the same level of fatalities as 1950. Early estimates on crash fatalities for the first half of 2013 indicate a decrease in deaths compared to the same timeframe in 2012.

Traffic Safety Facts — Rural/Urban Comparison

August 24, 2013 Comments off

Traffic Safety Facts — Rural/Urban Comparison (PDF)
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

This fact sheet contains statistics on motor vehicle fatal crashes based on data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). FARS is a census of fatal crashes within the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico (although Puerto Rico is not included in the national totals). Rural and urban boundaries are determined by the State highway departments and approved by the Federal Highway Administration.

In 2011, there were 29,757 fatal crashes resulting in 32,367 fatalities. Rural areas accounted for 54 percent (16,053) of the fatal crashes and 55 percent (17,762) of the fatalities as compared to urban areas that accounted for 46 percent (13,578) of the fatal crashes and 45 percent (14,464) of the fatalities. Additionally, 126 fatal crashes resulting in 141 fatalities occurred in areas where land use was unknown. According to the latest rural and urban population data from the Census Bureau, 19 percent of the U.S. population lived in rural areas, however, rural fatalities accounted for 55 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2011.

Traffic Safety Data Facts: Pedestrians

August 8, 2013 Comments off

Traffic Safety Data Facts: Pedestrians (PDF)
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

In 2011, 4,432 pedestrians were killed and an estimated 69,000 were injured in traffic crashes in the United States. On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic crashes.

A pedestrian, as defined for the purpose of this Traffic Safety Fact Sheet, is any person on foot, walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting or lying down who is involved in a motor vehicle traffic crash. Also, a traffic crash is defined as an incident that involves one or more vehicles where at least one vehicle is in transport and the crash originates on a public trafficway. Crashes that occurred exclusively on private property, including parking lots and driveways, were excluded.

The 4,432 pedestrian fatalities in 2011 were an increase of 3 percent from 2010, but a decrease of 7 percent from 2002. In 2011, pedestrian deaths accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities, and made up 3 percent of all the people injured in traffic crashes (Table 1).

Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities in 2012

May 28, 2013 Comments off

Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities in 2012 (PDF)

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

A statistical projection of traffic fatalities shows that an estimated 34,080 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2012. This represents an increase of about 5.3 percent as compared to the 32,367 fatalities that occurred in 2011, as shown in Table 1. If these projections are realized, 2012 will be first year with a year-to-year increase in fatalities since 2005. Traffic fatalities have been steadily declining over the previous six years since reaching a near-term peak in 2005, decreasing by about 26 percent from 2005 to 2011. Also, in 2012, fatalities increased in the first (up 12.6%), second (up 5.3%), third (up 3.2%) and fourth (up 1.7 %) quarters, as compared to the respective quarters in 2011. Preliminary data reported by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) shows that vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 2012 increased by about 9.1 billion miles, or about a 0.3-percent increase. On a quarterly basis, the 2012 VMT increased by 1.4 percent and by 0.8 percent in the first and second quar-ter, respectively, and decreased by 0.2 percent and by 0.7 percent in the third and fourth quarters, respectively. The fatality rate, per 100 million VMT, for 2012 is projected to increase to 1.16 fatalities per 100 million VMT, up from 1.10 fatalities per 100 million VMT in 2011. This rate surpasses the rate of 1.15 last reported in 2009.

U.S. Department of Transportation Proposes New Minimum Sound Requirements for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles

January 10, 2013 Comments off

U.S. Department of Transportation Proposes New Minimum Sound Requirements for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

As required by the bipartisan Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010 (PSEA), the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing that hybrid and electric vehicles meet minimum sound standards in order to help make all pedestrians more aware of the approaching vehicles.

Electric and hybrid vehicles do not rely on traditional gas or diesel-powered engines at low speeds, making them much quieter and their approach difficult to detect. The proposed standard, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 141, would fulfill Congress’ mandate in the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act that hybrid and electric vehicles meet minimum sound requirements so that pedestrians are able to detect the presence, direction and location of these vehicles when they are operating at low speeds.

The sounds would need to be detectable under a wide range of street noises and other ambient background sounds when the vehicle is traveling under 18 miles per hour. At 18 miles per hour and above, vehicles make sufficient noise to allow pedestrians and bicyclists to detect them without added sound. Each automaker would have a significant range of choices about the sounds it chooses for its vehicles, but the characteristics of those sounds would need to meet certain minimum requirements. In addition, each vehicle of the same make and model would need to emit the same sound or set of sounds.

NHTSA estimates that if this proposal were implemented there would be 2,800 fewer pedestrian and pedalcyclist injuries over the life of each model year of hybrid cars, trucks and vans and low speed vehicles, as compared to vehicles without sound.

New NHTSA Analysis Shows 2011 Traffic Fatalities Declined by Nearly Two Percent

December 11, 2012 Comments off

New NHTSA Analysis Shows 2011 Traffic Fatalities Declined by Nearly Two Percent
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today released a new analysis indicating that highway deaths fell to 32,367 in 2011, marking the lowest level since 1949 and a 1.9 percent decrease from the previous year. The updated 2011 data announced today show the historic downward trend in recent years continued through last year and represent a 26 percent decline in traffic fatalities overall since 2005.

While Americans drove fewer miles in 2011 than in 2010, the nearly two percent drop in roadway deaths significantly outpaced the corresponding 1.2 percent decrease in vehicle miles traveled. In addition, updated Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) information released today shows 2011 also saw the lowest fatality rate ever recorded, with 1.10 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2011, down from 1.11 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2010. Other key statistics include:

  • Fatalities declined by 4.6 percent for occupants of passenger cars and light trucks (including SUVs, minivans and pickups).
  • Deaths in crashes involving drunk drivers dropped 2.5 percent in 2011, taking 9,878 lives compared to 10,136 in 2010.
  • Fatalities increased among large truck occupants (20 percent), pedalcyclists (8.7 percent), pedestrians (3.0 percent), and motorcycle riders (2.1 percent). NHTSA is working with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to gather more detailed information on the large truck occupant crashes to better understand the increase in fatalities in 2011.
  • The number of people killed in distraction-affected crashes rose to 3,331 in 2011 from 3,267 in 2010, an increase of 1.9 percent. NHTSA believes this increase can be attributed in part to increased awareness and reporting.

An estimated 387,000 people were injured in distraction-affected crashes, a seven percent decline from the estimated 416,000 people injured in such crashes in 2010. Thirty-six states experienced reductions in overall traffic fatalities, led by Connecticut (100 fewer fatalities), North Carolina (93 fewer), Tennessee (86 fewer), Ohio (64 fewer) and Michigan (53 fewer).

Traffic Safety Facts – 2010 Data – Pedestrians

August 7, 2012 Comments off

Traffic Safety Facts – 2010 Data – Pedestrians (PDF)
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

In 2010, 4,280 pedestrians were killed and an estimated 70,000 were injured in traffic crashes in the United States. On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic crashes.

A pedestrian, as defined for the purpose of this Traffic Safety Fact Sheet, is any person on foot, walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting or lying down who is involved in a motor vehicle traffic crash. For the purpose of this Traffic Safety Fact Sheet a traffic crash is an incident that involves one or more vehicles where at least one vehicle is in-transport and the crash originates on a public traffic way. Crashes that occurred exclusively on private property, including parking lots and driveways, were excluded.

The 4,280 pedestrian fatalities in 2010 were an increase of 4 percent from 2009, but a decrease of 13 percent from 2001. In 2010, pedestrian deaths accounted for 13 percent of all traffic fatalities, and made up 3 percent of all the people injured in traffic crashes.

Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities for the First Quarter (January–March) of 2012

July 26, 2012 Comments off

Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities for the First Quarter (January–March) of 2012 (PDF)

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

A statistical projection of traffic fatalities for the first quarter of 2012 shows that an estimated 7,630 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. This represents a significant increase of about 13.5 percent as compared to the 6,720 fatalities that were projected to have occurred in the first quarter of 2011, as shown in Table 1. Preliminary data reported by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) shows that vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the first three months of 2012 increased by about 9.7 billion miles, or about a 1.4-percent increase. Also shown in Table 1 are the fatality rates per 100 million VMT,by quarter. The fatality rate for the first three months of 2012 increased significantly to 1.10 fatalities per 100 million VMT, up from 0.98 fatalities per 100 million VMT in the first quarter of 2011.Previously, in 2011, fatalities are projected to have declined in all four quarters.If these projections for the first quarter of 2012 are realized, it will represent the second largest year-to-year quarterly increase in fatalities since NHTSA began recording traffic fatalities (1975). The largest recorded year-to-year quarterly increase by NHTSA was a 15.3-percent increase in fatalities during the first quarter of 1979.

Quieter Cars and the Safety of Blind Pedestrians, Phase 2: Development of Potential Specifications for Vehicle Countermeasure Sounds — Final Report

February 29, 2012 Comments off

Quieter Cars and the Safety of Blind Pedestrians, Phase 2: Development of Potential Specifications for Vehicle Countermeasure Sounds — Final Report (PDF)
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

This project performed research to support the development of potential specifications for vehicle sounds, (i.e., audible countermeasures) to be used in vehicles while operating in electric mode in specific low speed conditions. The purpose of the synthetic vehicle sound is to alert pedestrians, including blind pedestrians, of vehicle presence and operation. The project developed various options and approaches to specify vehicle sounds that could be used to provide information at least equivalent to the cues provided by ICE vehicles, including speed change. Acoustic data from a sample of ICE vehicles was used to determine the sound levels at which synthetic vehicle sounds, developed as countermeasures, could be set. Psychoacoustic models and human-subject testing were used to explore issues of detectability, masking, and recognition of ICE-like and alternative sound countermeasures. Data were used to develop potential options that could be pursued to develop specifications for synthetic vehicle sounds. Project results indicate that vehicle detectability could potentially be met through various options including: recording(s) of actual ICE sounds; synthesized ICE-equivalent sounds; alternative, non-ICE-like sounds designed for detectability; and a hybrid of the options listed above.

Seat Belt Use in 2010—Use Rates in the States and Territories

August 15, 2011 Comments off

Characteristics of Law Enforcement Officers’ Fatalities in Motor Vehicle Crashes

April 5, 2011 Comments off

Characteristics of Law Enforcement Officers’ Fatalities in Motor Vehicle Crashes (PDF)
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (DOT)

The Law Enforcement Officers Killed & Assaulted (LEOKA) data is collected and published annually by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to provide information on the law enforcement officers who were killed feloniously or accidentally as well as of those who were assaulted while performing their duties. The LEOKA data shows that the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty by violent means dominated those who were killed in motor vehicle crashes until the middle of the 1990s. However, the recent trend shows that motor vehicle crashes have become the major cause of fatalities of law enforcement officers. These observations suggested an in-depth analysis of the data.

The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) is maintained by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The FARS is currently the only database that contains detailed information on the fatal crashes involving law enforcement officers. The characteristics of law enforcement officers’ fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes were investigated using the FARS data from 1980 to 2008. The characteristics were analyzed at the crash level for 772 crashes that involved at least one law enforcement officer’s fatality, at the vehicle level for 776 police vehicles with law enforcement officers’ fatalities, and at the person level for 823 law enforcement officers killed in motor vehicle crashes.

The characteristics of fatalities in passenger vehicle crashes were compared between the law enforcement officer (LEO) and non-LEO groups using the FARS data from 2000 to 2008. The LEO and non-LEO groups show substantially different characteristics at crash time, first harmful event, roadway function class (rural/urban), emergency use, fire occurrence, rollover, most harmful event, impact point, vehicle maneuver, crash avoidance maneuver, age, sex, person type, seating position, restraint use, and air bag availability and deployment.

See also: Police Officer Involved Vehicular Fatalities in 2009 (PDF; National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center)

Traffic Fatalities in 2010 Drop to Lowest Level in Recorded History

April 1, 2011 Comments off

Traffic Fatalities in 2010 Drop to Lowest Level in Recorded History
Source: U.S. Department of Transportation

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that the number and rate of traffic fatalities in 2010 fell to the lowest levels since 1949, despite a significant increase in the number of miles Americans drove during the year.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) early projections, the number of traffic fatalities fell three percent between 2009 and 2010, from 33,808 to 32,788. Since 2005, fatalities have dropped 25 percent, from a total of 43,510 fatalities in 2005. The same estimates also project that the fatality rate will be the lowest recorded since 1949, with 1.09 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, down from the 1.13 fatality rate for 2009. The decrease in fatalities for 2010 occurred despite an estimated increase of nearly 21 billion miles in national vehicle miles traveled.

A regional breakdown showed the greatest drop in fatalities occurred in the Pacific Northwest states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska, where they dropped by 12 percent. Arizona, California and Hawaii had the next steepest decline, nearly 11 percent.

+ Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities in 2010 (PDF)

NHTSA Releases New Child Seat Guidelines

March 23, 2011 Comments off

NHTSA Releases New Child Seat Guidelines
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has revised its child restraint guidelines to be categorized by age rather than by type of child seat in order to keep pace with the latest scientific and medical research and the development of new child restraint technologies.

Under the new guidelines, issued today, NHTSA is advising parents and caregivers to keep children in each restraint type, including rear-facing, forward-facing and booster seats, for as long as possible before moving them up to the next type of seat.

For instance, the safety agency recommends using the restraints in the rear facing position as long as children fit within the height and weight limits of the car seat as established by the manufacturer. The rear-facing position reduces stresses to the neck and spinal cord and is particularly important for growing babies.

NHTSA said that its new guidelines are consistent with the latest advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics which advises parents to keep kids in rear-facing restraints until two years of age or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat’s manufacturer. There is no need to hurry to transition a child to the next restraint type.

“Safety is our highest priority,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “The ‘best’ car seat is the one that fits your child, fits your vehicle and one you will use every time your child is in the car.”

NHTSA Administrator David Strickland pointed out that while all car seats sold in the U.S. must meet federal child restraint safety standards, he said, “Selecting the right seat for your child can be a challenge for many parents. NHTSA’s new revised guidelines will help consumers pick the appropriate seat for their child.”

Administrator Strickland said that parents should also consider other factors when selecting a car seat, including their child’s weight, height, physical development and behavioral needs, as well the family’s economics and type of vehicle.

Additional recommendations for child seat use from NHTSA include the following:

  • Always read child seat manufacturers’ instructions and the vehicle owner’s manual for important information on height and weight limits and how to install the car seat using the seat belt or the LATCH system.
  • All children under 13 should ride in the back seat.
  • Children in rear-facing car seats should never ride in front of an active passenger air bag.

+ Which car seat is the right for your child?
+ Ease of Use ratings

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