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FARS and AL Fatalities
Click Here to View the Analysis of Fatal Crashes in CY2016 as Compared to CY2014.

The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) contains data derived from a census of fatal traffic crashes within the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. To be included in FARS, a crash must involve a motor vehicle traveling on a trafficway customarily open to the public and result in the death of a person (occupant of a vehicle or a non-motorist) within 30 days of the crash.

FARS was conceived, designed, and developed by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 1975 to provide an overall measure of highway safety, to help identify traffic safety problems, to suggest solutions, and to help provide an objective basis to evaluate the effectiveness of motor vehicle safety standards and highway safety programs.

For more information, see the FARS Information Brochure.

USDOT Releases 2016 Fatal Traffic Crash Data

Transportation.gov: The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today released fatal traffic crash data for calendar year 2016. According to NHTSA data, which was collected from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, 37,461 lives were lost on U.S. roads in 2016, an increase of 5.6 percent from calendar year 2015.

The number of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) on U.S. roads in 2016 increased by 2.2 percent, and resulted in a fatality rate of 1.18 deaths per 100 VMT - a 2.6 percent increase from the previous year.

The 2016 national data shows that:

  • Distraction-related deaths (3,450 fatalities) decreased by 2.2 percent,
  • Drowsy driving deaths (803 fatalities) decreased by 3.5 percent,
  • Drunk driving deaths (10,497 fatalities), increased by 1.7 per­cent,
  • Speeding-related deaths (10,111 fatalities) increased by 4.0 percent,
  • Unbelted deaths (10,428 fatalities) increased by 4.6 percent,
  • Motorcyclist deaths (5,286 fatalities – the largest number of motorcyclist fatalities since 2008) increased by 5.1 percent,
  • Pedestrian deaths (5,987 fatalities – the highest number since 1990) increased by 9.0 percent,
  • Bicycle deaths (840 fatalities – the highest number since 1991) increased by 1.3 percent.

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Traffic Deaths Spiked in 2016, including Pedestrians Killed
PBS: Traffic fatalities rose 5.6 percent last year, with the biggest spikes in pedestrian and motorcyclist deaths, the government said Friday. There were 37,461 people killed on U.S. roads in 2016 as Americans continue to drive more, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. That’s the highest number of deaths since 2007.

The fatality rate was 1.18 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, a 2.6 percent increase from the previous year. Traffic deaths have been increasing since late 2014, as gas prices have fallen and people started driving more. In 2016, the total number of miles driven in the U.S. rose 2.2 percent.

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2015 State Traffic Data Traffic Safety Fact Sheet
NHTSA: In 2015, there were 35,092 fatalities in the United States (50 States and the District of Columbia, excluding (Puerto Rico), an increase of 7 percent from 2014 (32,744).

This image shows the 2015 traffic fatalities and the percent change from 2014 for each State, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Vermont and Oregon had the greatest fatality increases from 2014 to 2015 at 30 percent and 25 percent, respectively, while New Mexico and Massachusetts had the greatest decreases at 23 percent and 14 percent, respectively.
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Rural/Urban Comparison of Traffic Fatalities

NHTSA: In 2015, there were 32,166 fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes resulting in 35,092 fatalities. Of these 32,166 fatal traffic crashes, there were 15,293 (48%) that occurred in rural areas, 14,414 (45%) that occurred in urban areas, and 2,459 (8%) that occurred in unknown areas (not enough information to determine if the crashes were inside the rural or urban boundaries).

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Fundamental Principles, Policies and Practices to Advance Vision Zero in the U.S.
Vision Zero Network: We aim to ensure that Vision Zero efforts entail not only bold proclamations and marketing campaigns but, more importantly, lasting changes that save lives and ensure safe mobility for all. This PDF, Moving From Vision to Action: Fundamental Principles, Policies and Practices to Advance Vision Zero in the U.S., was created to do just that.

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U.S. Traffic Deaths Rise for a Second Straight Year
New York Times: Over the last decade, new cars have gotten electronic stability control systems to prevent skids, rearview cameras to prevent fender benders and more airbags to protect occupants in collisions. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on campaigns to remind the public of the dangers of drunken driving, failing to buckle up and texting while on the go.

Despite all that, more Americans are dying on roads and highways than in years, and the sudden and sharp increase has alarmed safety advocates.

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AL Fatalities

Alabama has experienced a very large increase in traffic fatalities in the first months of 2016.  This research effort consisting of a PPT and a narrative was conducted on behalf of the Alabama Traffic Records Coordinating Committee, and it is the first, high-level, effort to get an insight into the causes of the increased fatalities.  Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet -- all the usual suspects: speed, impaired driving, distracted driving & walking, and probably most of all, a failure to use proper restraints.  But this study goes a bit deeper to determine just who, what, where, when and why these particular issues caused death.  This is a top level study and it has surfaced a number of drill-downs into the data that will be performed shortly.  In addition, the entire study will be replicated when all of the 2016 data are available.

Click Here for the PPT

Click Here for the Narrative

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National Safety Council Launch Road to Zero Coalition to End Roadway Fatalities
Transportation.gov: U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Federal Highway Administration, and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are joining forces with the National Safety Council (NSC) to launch the Road to Zero coalition with the goal of ending fatalities on the nation’s roads within the next 30 years. The Department of Transportation has committed $1 million a year for the next three years to provide grants to organizations working on lifesaving programs.

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White House, Transportation Dept. Want Help Using Open Data to Prevent Traffic Crashes
fedscoop: The Transportation Department is looking for public input on how to better interpret and use data on fatal crashes after 2015 data revealed a startling spike of 7.2 percent more deaths in traffic accidents that year.

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Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities in 2015
A statistical projection of traffic fatalities for 2015 shows that an estimated 35,200 people will die in motor vehicle traffic crashes. This represents an increase of about 7.7% as compared to the 32,675 fatalities that were reported to have occurred in 2014.

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