According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 2010 saw record low traffic accident fatalities. This record low for traffic accident fatalities in 2010 bested the previous record of 2009. While that year saw 33,808 deaths, 2010 saw a drop to 32,708.
Both the DOT and NHTSA credit public awareness campaigns and stricter law enforcement, with programs against impaired driving, distracted driving and even pro-seatbelt campaigns being lauded. Undoubtedly, safer vehicles and improved safety systems can also share some of the glory, but either way, we are pleased to see the statistic falling and hope that its a continuing trend in the future.
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.
“Last year’s drop in traffic fatalities is welcome news and it proves that we can make a difference,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Still, too many of our friends and neighbors are killed in preventable roadway tragedies every day. We will continue doing everything possible to make cars safer, increase seat belt use, put a stop to drunk driving and distracted driving and encourage drivers to put safety first.”
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.
California saw nearly an 11 percent decrease in traffic accident deaths in 2010.
“The decrease in traffic fatalities is a good sign, but we are always working to save lives,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “NHTSA will continue pressing forward on all of our safety initiatives to make sure our roads are as safe as they can possibly be.”
NHTSA has also taken action to improve vehicle safety. The agency has urged automakers to swiftly and voluntarily report safety defects to keep the driving public safe. NHTSA has also encouraged the development and use of technologies to prevent crashes, such as electronic stability control, forward collision warning and lane departure warning systems. The agency also unveiled an updated 5-star rating system in 2010, which established more rigorous crash-test standards and began providing consumers with improved information about which cars perform best in collisions.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has also been encouraging the use of Safety Edge technology — which reduces drivers’ risk of running off the road by shaping pavement edge — on new road and highway projects. FHWA has also promoted the use of rumble strips and cable median barriers to separate opposing directions of traffic to reduce the incidence of crossover head-on collisions.
At the Sargent Law Firm, we are pleased to see the number or wrongful deaths and fatalities significantly decreasing over time due to numerous factors. However, there are still thousands of people who lose their lives due to traffic accidents every year in California alone. In San Diego, California, approximately 200-250 people lose their life in an auto accident ever year. Many of these deaths are accidental, but there are a number of deaths in San Diego that are caused by negligence, recklessness, drunk drivers, and drivers driving under the influence.
If you have lost a loved one to a wrongful death, call the Sargent Law Firm to represent you in your San Diego wrongful death claim. We understand that this is a difficult time to go through and are here to help. We charge nothing unless we win your case and offer free consultations. Call now at 760.707.2721 or submit a free online case evaluation.
on Monday, July 11 2011 at 8:34 pm.