The annual fact sheet from the statistical branch of the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [NHTSA] contains the following important topics, on a state-by-state basis where relevant, and with national totals shown:
■■ State Traffic Fatality Tables
• Table 1: Traffic Fatalities and Fatality Rates, by State, 2015
• Table 2: Traffic Fatalities and Percent Change, by State, 1975-2015
• Table 3: Traffic Fatality Rates and Percent Change, by State, 1975-2015
• Table 4: Alcohol Involvement in Fatal Traffic Crashes, by State, 2006 and 2015
• Table 5: Speeding-Related Traffic Fatalities, by Roadway Function Class and State, 2015
• Table 6: Passenger Vehicle Occupant Fatalities, by Restraint Use and State, 2015
• Table 7: Motorcyclist Fatalities, by Helmet Use and State, 2015
• Table 8: Traffic Fatalities and Vehicles Involved in Fatal Crashes, by Person Type and State, 2015
■■ Restraint Use and Motorcycle Helmet Use Laws
Comments from Eddie Wren:
Latest published fact: “Since 2014, U.S. traffic deaths have surged 14 percent — the largest increase in more than half a century. Last year, the number of fatalities jumped 6 percent, to 40,200.” The Hill, June 22, 2017.
In general, many of the figures and changes in rates, etc., in this paper might look good but the truth is that when those figures are viewed alongside their equivalents from other developed countries it swiftly becomes clear that America actually performs very badly. Put simply, if the USA could match the significantly lower rates of road deaths found in the world’s leading road safety nations (currently Norway, Sweden, the UK and Switzerland), over 20,000 American lives would be saved every year and a vastly higher number of injuries would either be prevented or reduced in severity.
So what are the main things that are holding the USA back in this field? Sadly, it’s an easy answer: Politics, and a distressing tendency for nobody in U.S. officialdom to tell the public the truth about the situation. Indeed, at present virtually everyone who is ‘high up’ in US highway safety seems to be pinning their hopes very prematurely just on the eventual arrival of fully-autonomous (i.e. ‘self-driving’) cars, without any adequately effective attempts to dramatically cut the horrendous death rates in the meanwhile.