In many ways, we’re making progress when it comes to the number of fatal car accidents. The number continues to shrink and is on par with how many there were in the 1950s. Yet there’s always more that can be done to prevent these fatalities. New data shows that speeding and aggressive driving are still a huge problem.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 32,885 people died on U.S. roads in 2010. It averages out to about 1.1 fatalities for every 100 million miles traveled. That’s the lowest number ever.
Still, when you look at why these accidents are happening, the numbers aren’t so encouraging. Motorists’ driving habits aren’t what’s changed so much. Better technology and safety features can take credit for saving a lot of lives.
According to a report published by the Governors Highway Safety Association, about a third of fatal traffic crashes, or 10,530, can be attributed to speeding. Data shows that the proportion of crashes caused by speeding hasn’t changed much.
In addition, few states have offered to increase fines for speeders. And seven states have actually increased interstate highway speed limits in the last several years, some to as high as 85 mph.
Part of the problem may be the public indifference to speeding. Many don’t consider it a problem like they would aggressive driving. Some government officials are suggesting that states should tackle aggressive driving to get the numbers down.
What do you think? What else could be done to reduce fatalities?
Source: The Car Connection, “Speeding, aggressive driving still cause 1/3 of fatal accidents,” Richard Read, March 9, 2012