On this Jan. 24, 2020 file picture, early rush hour site visitors rolls alongside I-10 in Phoenix. Site visitors deaths within the U.S. fell for the third straight 12 months in 2019, the federal government’s highway security company stated Thursday, Oct. 1. The Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration says the downward development is constant into this 12 months with individuals driving fewer miles because of the pandemic. (AP Photograph/Ross D. Franklin, File)
Site visitors deaths within the U.S. fell for the third consecutive 12 months in 2019, the federal government’s highway security company reported.
The downward trend is constant into this 12 months with individuals driving fewer miles because of the pandemic, the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration stated Thursday.
The company says deaths fell 2% final 12 months, to 36,096. That is 739 fewer than the 36,835 fatalities reported to the company in 2019.
The lower got here despite the fact that automobile miles traveled elevated by almost 1%, decreasing the fatality charge to 1.1 per 100 million miles traveled. That was the bottom since 2014.
The company says pedestrian deaths fell 2.7%, bicyclist fatalities dropped 2.9% and motorbike deaths dropped 0.5%. Deaths in passenger automobiles fell 2.8%.
However deaths in crashes involving heavy vans fell by only one, from 5,006 in 2018 to five,005 final 12 months.
Estimates by the company present that site visitors deaths within the first half of this 12 months fell 2% from the identical interval in 2019, to 16,550. However site visitors volumes fell greater than the variety of deadly crashes, growing the fatality charge per 100 million automobile miles traveled to 1.25. That is up from 1.06 for the primary half of 2019.
James Owens, NHTSA’s deputy administrator, stated the company is inspired by the general declines, however involved due to a development since April of elevated fatality charges.
“Now greater than ever we ought to be watching ourselves for protected driving practices and inspiring others to do the identical,” Owens stated in a press release.
The elevated fatality rate introduced criticism of NHTSA from security advocates who stated there’s confirmed expertise similar to computerized emergency braking, blind spot warning and lane departure warnings that ought to be required on automobiles to make roads safer.
“The U.S. Division of Transportation continues to depend on ineffective voluntary agreements,” Cathy Chase, president of Advocates for Freeway and Auto Security, stated in a press release.
NHTSA issued a report saying that through the top of the coronavirus restrictions with much less site visitors on the roads, drivers took extra dangers together with rushing, failing to put on seat belts, and driving beneath the affect of medicine or alcohol. Common speeds elevated, and incidents with individuals caught driving at excessive speeds rose, NHTSA stated.
A research of individuals injured or killed in crashes who had been handled at 5 massive trauma facilities discovered that from mid-March to mid-July, virtually two-thirds of drivers examined optimistic for not less than one drug, together with marijuana, alcohol or opioids. NHTSA stated the variety of drivers testing optimistic for opioids almost doubled after mid-March, in contrast with the earlier six months. Marijuana use was up 50%.
The Governors Freeway Security Affiliation, a bunch of state freeway security officers, stated rushing is a think about almost one-third of traffic deaths. However affiliation members reported that through the top of the pandemic, states and communities lowered health risks to cops by limiting traffic stops.
“This will likely have led some motorists to consider they might get away with harmful and aggressive driving, regardless of the risk to themselves and everybody on the highway,” the affiliation stated in a press release.
NHTSA stated it’s holding workshops with state and native officers to deal with the safety issues.
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US site visitors deaths fell 2% in 2019; Third straight yearly drop (2020, October 2)
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