2006 Fatality Stats – preliminary

[ U P D A T E : final stats ]

NHTSA’s preliminary Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data for 2006 (a.k.a. highway traffic fatalities):

  2006 2005
alcohol-related 17,941 17,525
drunk 13,990 13,613
pedestrian 4,768 4,881
motorcyclist not yet available 4,553
pedalcyclist not yet available 784
total 43,300 43,443
All other transportation(e.g planes, trains)   2,193

(Figures released May 25, 2007; updated table with 2005 numbers June 16, 2007)

Here is blurb from trb.org

The U.S. Department of Transportation has released preliminary figures for traffic deaths on roads in the United States during 2006. According to a press release, the number of road deaths is projected to have declined slightly nationwide from 43,443 in 2005 to 43,300 in 2006. Based on the preliminary 2006 fatality numbers, the 2006 fatality rate is projected at 1.44 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, down from 1.45 in 2005. During the same period, injuries dropped 6 percent from 2.7 million in 2005 to 2.54 million in 2006. The preliminary figures also show that between 2005 and 2006 overall alcohol-related fatalities increased 2.4 percent from 17,525 to 17,941; pedestrian deaths dropped slightly, from 4,881 to 4,768; and fatalities from large truck crashes dropped from 5,212 to 5,018, a 3.7 percent decline.

“alcohol-related traffic deaths are at an all time high since 1992” according to MADD. They put some strange spins on the data. Alcohol related is a rather nebulous stat to begin with. I would imagine the population has increased significantly (and vehicle miles traveled even more so) in 14 years. MADD is suggesting “Mandatory Alcohol Ignition Interlocks for All Convicted Drunk Drivers” (see dui interlock for an interesting twist).

here is the full MADD press release:

DALLAS, May 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Statement for attribution to Glynn R. Birch, National President, Mothers Against Drunk Driving:

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is deeply saddened to learn that alcohol-related traffic deaths are at an all time high since 1992 and is asking the country to commit to the elimination of drunk driving.

According to NHTSA’s preliminary Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data, alcohol-related traffic fatalities are up to 17,941 for 2006 versus 17,525 for 2005, representing a 2.4 percent increase. Fatalities involving a driver with a .08 BAC or higher rose from 13,613 in 2005 to 13,990 in 2006, representing a 2.8 percent increase. At the same time, overall traffic fatalities are down slightly by 0.3 percent.

MADD is calling upon Congress to schedule immediate hearings and develop a plan of action that is built upon proven solutions. MADD’s National Board of Directors will meet with congressional safety leaders on June 7 to discuss its Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving and to lobby for an increased focus on drunk driving. As U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters stated in a press conference this afternoon, MADD will work closely with the Department of Transportation and Governors across the country to reverse these numbers.

The Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving is exactly what it says it is: a road map for a nation without drunk driving. The Campaign calls for intensive, high visibility law enforcement; mandatory ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers; exploration of advanced vehicle-based technology and community support.

MADD believes that the reason people continue to drive drunk, despite the devastating effect it has on families, is because they can. MADD is committed to changing that. Currently, there are several advanced technologies under development that may one day make it impossible for vehicles to be driven by drunks.

Until then, we must rely on proven techniques to reduce drunk driving: alcohol ignition interlocks and increased high visibility enforcement, such as sobriety checkpoints in all 50 states.

There are 1.4 million drunk driving arrests in this country every year and we must make sure these individuals never drive drunk again. Take a stand America. Ask why ignition interlocks are not mandated the next time you read the headline, “family of four killed by repeat drunk driver.”

The NTSB releases the total transportation fatalities, usually in September of the following year.

The NHTSA releases highway / traffic fatalities, usually in May of the following year.

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