U.S. Traffic Fatalities Reach Record Low, DOT Reports
July 9, 2009
Overall traffic fatalities reported in 2008 hit their lowest level
since 1961, according to a report issued by the U.S. Department
of Transportation (DOT). In addition, the DOT reported that fatalities
in the first three months of 2009 have continued to decrease as
A total of 37,261 highway deaths were reported in 2008down
9.7 percent in 2007. In addition, the fatality rate, which accounts
for various factors such as how many miles were traveled, also was
down 7 percent; it was calculated at 1.27 persons per 100 million
vehicle miles driven for 2008, compared with 1.36 for 2007.
The DOT also reports numbers by type of vehicle, and found that
there were declines in both passenger car occupant fatalities along
with light-truck occupant fatalities. Motorcycle fatalities, however,
were upaccounting for 14 percent of all highway deaths.
Highway Fatalities for 2007 and 2008
Continuing the downward trend, an estimated 7,689 highway deaths
have been reported for the period of January-March 2009-a 9-percent
decline from the same period a year ago. It was the twelfth consecutive
quarterly decline. The fatality rate for the first quarter of 2009
is calculated at approximately 1.12 fatalities per 100 million vehicle
"While the number of highway deaths in America has decreased,
we still have a long way to go," says Transportation Secretary
Though 47 U.S. states also saw decreases in highway fatalities
from 2007, Alaska reported the biggest percentage dropdown
24 percent from the prior year from 82 to 62.
Delaware, Vermont and Wyoming all saw their highway deaths increasewith
the largest increase seen in Vermont. Vermont reported 66 highway
fatalities in 2007, compared with 73 in 2008up by 11 percent.
HERE to view the entire report, along with a state-by-state
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