Final 2010 U.S. Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities released

Final 2010 figures

…released 12/8/2011;  fastlane.dot.gov, at 32,885 the number is slightly higher than the early estimates which come out in the spring.

The 2010 dataset is not yet available in FARS, which is a little strange given that last year’s data was released in September (i.e. 2009 dataset available September 2010). update: the 2010 FARS data came up sometime in early December.

Final Arizona 2010 figures were released in August.

NHTSA’s Traffic Safety Facts 2010 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview, DOT HS 811 552

Bicyclist Fatalities

As bikinginla.wordpress.com  points out, 618 cyclist deaths in 2010 makes it the lowest overall figure in some 35 years. The Arizona figure, 19, puts it close to our 10-year average; coming off of a bad 2009 (25).

Ped Problems?

USA Today article: “The USA is getting riskier for people on foot, and experts aren’t sure why.” Mike Sanders noted the ped issue, see comment here on the final Arizona 2010 figures.   Speed matters and need to redefine mobility – “Everyone should be familiar with the chart that shows that a pedestrian hit by a car traveling at 20 miles per hour (mph) has an 85 percent survivability rate. That same collision with a car going twice as fast, 40 mph, will lower the survivability likelihood to 15 percent” (Laplante and McCann, Complete Streets: We Can Get There from Here, ITE journal, May 2008).

An rather than viewing it as a zero-sum game where motorists must lose mobility in order to make streets safer for peds; Beyond Safety in Numbers suggests that the safer streets for peds are quite likely safer streets for motorists as well.

Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities in 2010

The early estimates come out in the spring (late march i think), here was the buzz at that time…

The media is abuzz with projections released a couple of days ago by NHTSA that 2010 traffic fatalities are at there lowest number since the Truman administration, and the closely-watch per VMT figure is the lowest ever recorded. Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities in 2010:

A statistical projection of traffic fatalities in 2010 shows that an estimated 32,788 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. This represents a decline of about 3 percent as compared to the 33,808 fatalities that occurred in 2009…  The fatality rate for 2010 are projected to decline to the lowest on record, to 1.09 fatalities per 100 million VMT, down from 1.13 fatalities per 100 million VMT in 2009

Here are the Early Estimates for 2009, and 2008.

No “person-type” breakdowns are given, e.g. auto, motorcycle, bicycle, pedestrian, just projected totals.

State breakdowns are not given,only “regions”. The western regions are down significantly at around 10 – 12% declines. This outfit,  zerofatalities.com , is not yet quoting Arizona’s 2010 numbers.

International Standards

While the U.S. is continuing on a good trend, international standards show there is much room for improvement, for example the U.K.’s per 100 million VMT at 0.92 (=5.7/6.2) is quite a bit better than the US, and that was the UK’s 2009 figure; the US is still playing catch-up. [see List_of_countries_by_traffic-related_death_rate ; to convert from per 1,000,000,000 kilometers to per 100,000,000 miles; divide by 6.25 (to get that number: 1/1.6 times 10. 1.6 is the number of km in a mile, and a billion is 10 times more than 100M)… someone please check my math!]. Though the number for the U.S. in the wiki article, 8.5 (= 1.37 per 100M VMT), sounds wrong (too high), for 2009 the reported figure is 1.14 per 100M VMT.

The real disparity is the per capita rate, usually expressed as fatalities per 100,000 people, the US is of course seriously higher, given the preponderance of driving here in the US. E.g. the rate in US is around THREE TIMES as deadly as the U.K. or Germany.

see this related article U.S. lagging in reducing traffic fatalities.

Regulatory Performance

Interesting figures listed in a wiki article on NHTSA compares 1979 to 2002 decreases in fatalities for us versus UK, Canada, Austraia; the US decline was 16% whereas the other 3 countries showed much larger decreases of around 50%. Why has the US lagged (prevelance of “light” trucks in us versus passenger cars is suggested)? What has happened since 2002? (should be pretty easy to round up those figures….

3 thoughts on “Final 2010 U.S. Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities released”

  1. An International Contrast

    Here’s a newer/updated http://www.guardian.co.uk article outlining the 2010 stats from Great Britain / UK. The most closely watched indicator, fatalities per distance traveled, was 677 per 100 Billion Kilometers traveled. (what is the per capita rate?)

    To convert from fatalities per 100 Billion Kilometers to fatalities per 100 Million Miles, multiply by 0.0016 So, Great Britain has a rate of 1.0672 fatalities per 100 Million miles traveled. (very similar to US overall rate of 1.14 for 2009… which probably will be improved for 2010 but hasn’t been released yet).

    They note a trend of increased cyclist fatalites over the past three years, while deaths in motorists and peds has been falling. Overall the total of 1,857 is, like in the US, a modern historic low.

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