• Aug 18, 2008
Safer vehicles and increased law enforcement has resulted in the lowest driving fatality rate ever last year. There were 41,059 traffic deaths in 2007, down 1,600 from 2006. Fatalities are now at 1.37 per 100 million miles traveled, which is the lowest number since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration started keeping track. The proliferation of safety technology, like side curtain air bags, stability control, and traction control, are apparently helping to make our roads safer, and good old-fashioned seat belts are being used more than ever. The "Click it or Ticket" campaign isn't the only way law enforcement has helped to lower fatalities either, as increased drunken driving patrols have lead to a 3.7% decline in deaths. Still, 13,000 people died last year as a result of drunken driving, which is 13,000 too many.

News on the safety front isn't as good for motorcycle drivers, though. A record 5,154 bikers lost their lives on U.S. roads in 2007, which is over 200 more than in 2006. Part of the reason for that increase is that there are more motorcycle drivers on the road, with 6 million motorcycles registered last year, up 2.2 million in the past decade.

[Source: Kicking Tires via CNN]


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  • 47 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      what they fail to mention is the improved rescue efforts for when people do get in an accident, we are more likey to get them cut out and sent to a trauma center in enough time to actually make a difference.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Uh-oh. Now what am I going to use to justify my argument for raising/getting rid of speed limits?
        • 6 Years Ago
        There is no evidence provided in this article to establish cause and effect. There you go.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's currently super safe and we could raise the speed limits to help Darwin out. Weed out the people that can't drive fast.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What's added to killing the motorcycle drivers is DRL's (daytime running lights). DRL's did add some safety initially but as time goes on they've lost their effectiveness - as with all additional lighting - including the 3rd brake light. Drivers get used to the lights and eventually ignore them.

      But what DRL's have actually done is kill 4 times more motorcycle drivers because, a few years ago, the only ones on the highways with their lights on were the motorcycle drivers - and they were being seen.

      I believe the only company with DRL's is GM. The Japanese didn't believe in it and I don't think Ford or Chrysler did either.

      KK
        • 6 Years Ago
        Matter of fact, the Japanese did jump on the DRL bandwagon but I think that was for about a year, while it was like a legal requirement in the US or something. Not only do DRL's kill, they make you complacent about actually turning on your lights when you jump into a good car. Double kill. And they burn up your headlights faster. Dollar kill.

        Ok, rant's over.
      • 6 Years Ago
      And the dumba$$es should stay off their flippin cell phones too, that would help even more. I absolutely love it when I see a teenage girl flying up behind me in her Honda Civic and she's yapping away on her cell phone while she's driving 6" from my rear bumper. I love the reaction when I tap my brakes a couple times. Dumb bimbos!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well that's 41,059 less people that can piss me off when i'm driving.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Oh get off your high horse.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Callous and uncalled for. What makes you think that all of them deserved it? What about the ones that were killed by drunk drivers? That's beyond cold. Borderline sociopath talk, right there. "They deserved it cuz otherwise they'd be in my way!"

        Sick.
        • 6 Years Ago
        -----> joke

        ------>Za's head
      • 6 Years Ago
      it may also have something to do with the fact that people are driving less miles overall this past year due to higher prices, less cars on the road = more spacing = less fatal accidents?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I thought the same as Hank. 25% more cars, over 25% less driving? Lots of people stayed put, didnt launch boats, etc. I would think this holds a little weight.
        • 6 Years Ago
        NO -- Deaths were about the same as 1996, on 25% MORE VEHICLE MILES.
        You can expect vehicle miles to decline in 2008, I think.

        http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Main/index.aspx

        Cars are safer -- but many hundreds of pounds heavier, mostly due to safety stuff, and the proliferation of SUVs, plus more equipment. Gas usage per mile would be way down, with present engine technology, but for that.

        As for speed limits -- I agree we need them, but 2008 cars are safer at 70 by far than 1960 cars were at 55.
        • 6 Years Ago
        higher GAS PRICES, that is :P
        • 6 Years Ago
        I've read a number of articles on just that. US citizens have driven 12B miles fewer in June than last year, and 11B less in May. All of those articles have stated that this has lowered the death toll considerably. Damn, didn't I read one yesterday?

        http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=130807

        Yes I did. ;)
      • 6 Years Ago
      I still think that is far too many deaths.

      Im sure many are the result of drunken drivers, that number could be
      much better.

      If you were one of the 41000 Im sure youd agree with me.
        • 6 Years Ago
        If I were one of the 41000, I wouldn't be agreeing with anything...
      • 6 Years Ago
      As gas prices remain unaffordable for the common man, we will see decreased driving but at what cost? The economy will suffer and jobs will be lost all because the liberal democrats refuse to allow domestic drilling and refining of oil. Of course, we will still be in danger as we ride our bicycles.. Noncy Pelosi and Harry Reid will be driving their limos and probably run us over. Enough said. Vote them out in November!
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Fatalities are now at 1.37 per 100 million miles traveled, which is the lowest number since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration started keeping track."
      • 6 Years Ago
      The reason there are more motorcycle fatalities IS NOT just because there are more cycles on the road. Vehicle drivers are irresposible and too quick to change lanes. They try to squeeze ahead in traffic, dart in and out of lanes, and they don't look for a mortorcyclist when they glance in their mirror.
      • 6 Years Ago
      WAIT SO YOU MEAN HAVING HIGHER HIGHWAY SPEED LIMITS HASN'T ACTUALLY CREATED MORE TRAFFIC DEATHS?! Shocker. (Not really.)
      • 6 Years Ago
      What part of "passing lane" can't they understand?
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