Over 37,000 People were Killed on America’s Roads and Highways in 2016

Figures released by the USDOT on October 6, 2017, show that 37,461 lives were lost on U.S. roads in 2016, an increase of 5.6 percent from calendar year 2015.  This followed an inaccurate estimation earlier this year by the National Safety Council [NSC] that the figure would be approximately 40,200.

In the context of the NSC’s miscalculation, the lower, more recent, and obviously more accurate figure from the USDOT and NHTSA is a relief but the situation is still very bad news.  Apart from the 5.6% increase in fatalities from 2015-2016, the fact is that since 2014 the number of deaths on America’s roads and highways has soared swiftly upwards from 32,744 to 37,461, a two-year increase of 14.4 percent, representing almost 5,000 “extra” deaths in 2016 alone.

Photograph of two roadside memorials, on opposite sides of a rural road, and from two separate crashes.
Not one but two memorials, for two separate crashes on either side of this road at this one location in Illinois. Photo: Copyright 2012.

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Far Too Many Pedestrians are Killed in the USA but it Could be Improved

It is a very saddening fact that pedestrian safety on roads and highways in the USA is well below the standard it should be, and far too many people are killed as a result.

The following was published by NHTSA on Facebook on 7 September, 2017:

  NHTSA  7 hrs
Pedestrian fatalities totaled 5,376 in 2015, up 10% from 2014. Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available.
Photo of pedstrians on a busy crosswalk
NHTSA image

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Reports of Carbon Monoxide Leaking into Ford Explorers, a Vehicle Used by Many Police Departments

…More than 2,700 complaints have been filed with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding carbon monoxide leaking into Ford Explorers…

Among the complaints filed with [NHTSA], 41 injuries were caused by fumes, with three crashes taking place.

In a statement made Friday, Ford said that exhaust is entering the vehicles through holes in the underbody that were not properly sealed.

Read the important full article, from News 5 Cleveland

 

Too Many Babies Die in the USA Because of Being Left in Hot Cars!

Far too many little children are forgotten or even deliberately left in cars in the USA in hot weather, and they quickly suffer and die from heatstroke.
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New York is Top State in USA Enforcement Efforts to Make Highways Safer

NYS DMV Press Release – Monday, July 24, 2017

New York is the top state in the nation in taking steps to reduce injuries and fatalities on its roadways, a recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says. No state has taken as many steps to curtail the number of crashes as the Empire State. As a result, New York had one of the lowest rates of traffic fatalities per 100,000 residents in the nation, according to 2013 data cited in the report.

NYS DMV logo

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Risk Awareness and Perception Training are So Important but are Still Just Part of the Bigger Picture

Hazard awareness has always been of massive importance in safe driving and has been a critical component of true advanced driving since the inception of the System of Car Control by the police in Britain, an astonishing 82 years ago, in 1935.  This is the sole driving system taught by Advanced Drivers of North America [ADA/ADoNA],  since the  corporation’s own inception (without the word ‘North’), back in 2006.

Some excellent research has been published by NHTSA earlier this year (2017), in relation to an updated Risk Awareness and Perception Training [RAPT] program for young drivers.  This represents exactly the same discipline as practiced in the “hazard awareness” mentioned above. Indeed, for fleet or corporate drivers, we at ADoNA are the sole suppliers in the USA of this globally-unmatched system, which we have spent years carefully refining for it to be a perfect fit for North American driving safety culture — not just the “driving on the other side of the road” bit 🙂

View an outline of our Defensive and Advanced Driving Courses at ADoNA.

Photo of a woman on a traffic island with cars all around, and with a baby trailer attached to her bicycle.
Just one of many scenarios where drivers must be extremely perceptive of multiple, simultaneous hazards. Boulder, Colorado.  (Copyright image: Eddie Wren, 2007.)

This NHTSA research represents a major breakthrough of great importance to improved safety for America’s young drivers, and we strongly hope to see a system put in place for all young drivers to get the benefit of relevant training.  Here is an excerpt from the paper:

Abstract
Previous research suggests newly licensed teen drivers often fail to anticipate where unexpected hazards might materialize. One training program designed to address these apparent deficiencies in knowledge and skills that has shown promise in previous tests is the Risk Awareness and Perception Training (RAPT) program. This project updated RAPT using high definition video and computer simulations to create a more interactive and realistic program. Researchers evaluated the modified program’s impact on the behaviors of novice and experienced drivers through the use of a computer-based test and during on-road drives in live traffic on a pre-defined route. Both the novice and experienced driver RAPT-trained groups showed substantial improvement in performance from pre- to post-test with the RAPT trainees hitting almost all of the targets during the computer post-test. The performance differences extended to the eye-tracker data arising from the on-road drives. The RAPT-trained groups hit significantly higher numbers of total primary targets and percentages of targets compared to the control groups. The study also employed a “Think Aloud,” or commentary driving, data collection effort. This data collection approach did not reveal any performance differences among the training groups. This study also included a persistence measure using the computer assessment one month after training. Results showed the RAPT-trained groups’ target hit rates decreased from the initial post-test to the persistence measure but remained above their baseline hit rates and above the control groups’ persistence measure hit rates.

On this ADoNA website you are currently viewing, you will also find a wealth of free, additional research-based and best-practice based information with which to support your team of business drivers and help maximize their safety.

USA Traffic Safety Facts 2015 Data, as published in June 2017

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:

■■ Overview
■■ 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

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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.

Traffic Safety Facts 2015 Data (published by NHTSA in June 2017)

Also see: Ranking Countries for Road Safety – the ‘Per Capita’ Rate, 2015

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Eddie Wren, CEO & Chief InstructorAdvanced Drivers of North America