Safety

Traffic fatalities hit record low in ’09

Posted on March 12, 2010
The number of overall traffic fatalities reported at the end of 2009 was the lowest since 1954. Photo credit: www.flickr.com/photos/mattblaze / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
The number of overall traffic fatalities reported at the end of 2009 was the lowest since 1954. Photo credit: www.flickr.com/photos/mattblaze / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The number of overall traffic fatalities reported at the end of 2009 was the lowest since 1954, declining for the 15th consecutive quarter.

According to early projections from the U.S. Department of Transportation, last year's fatality rate, which takes into account the number of miles traveled, reached the lowest level ever recorded. Still, safety officials said that more must be done to reduce distracted and impaired driving.

“This is exciting news, but there are still far too many people dying in traffic accidents,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. “Drivers need to keep their hands on the steering wheel and their focus on the road in order to stay safe.”

The projected fatality data for 2009 places the highway death count at 33,963, a drop of 8.9 percent compared to the 37,261 deaths reported in 2008. The fatality rate for 2009 declined to the lowest on record, down to 1.16 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) from 1.25 fatalities per 100 million VMT in 2008.

“We want to see those numbers drop further,” said David Strickland, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). “We must continue our efforts to ensure seat belts are always used and stay focused on reducing distracted and impaired driving.”

NHTSA attributed the decline in 2009 to a combination of factors, including campaigns like “Click It or Ticket” and “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.” Safer roads and safer vehicles were also cited as factors.

NHTSA annually collects crash statistics from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to produce annual reports on traffic fatality trends. The agency said it intends to update 2009 estimates regularly as more data become available.

The final counts for 2009 are slated to be made available this summer. The preliminary fatality statistics are available here.

 

Related Topics: distracted driving, NHTSA

Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
News

2 Killed in School Bus-Truck-Car Crash

In Texas, an assistant track team coach and a big-rig driver were killed and at least 18 bus passengers were injured in a collision between a school bus, an 18-wheeler, and another vehicle.

Article

5 New School Bus Shop Tools

An app that helps track maintenance and fuel, a remote-controlled mobile column lift, and a portable LED work light are among the latest offerings that can assist in school bus maintenance.

A school bus carrying 13 students was traveling along a highway when it hit a large turkey that flew across the roadway. Stock photo by Grendelkhan via Wikimedia Commons
News

School Bus Collides With Turkey

A bus carrying 13 students is traveling along a highway when a large turkey flies across the roadway from a ditch, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Product

Timer Switch

The 5600 Timer Box is designed to provide flexible, efficient switching of LED lights in a compact unit.

News

Student Allegedly Sexually Assaulted on School Bus

A Florence County (S.C.) Sheriff’s Office report states that video allegedly shows students pulling another student to the back of the bus and assaulting her while another student appears to block the driver’s view.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!