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How Safe Are Our Roads?


Countries like Sweden are working to engineer roads designed to reduce highway fatalities to zero.

Ambitious… no?  But they seem to be making progress.  Road deaths have declined by 50% since 2000.

What about here in the U.S.?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatalities due to vehicle crashes are in a period of marked decline. NHTSA’s data shows that highway fatalities due to car crashes are down by 25% since 2004.  They also state that injuries due to car crashes are down 2.1% from 2012 to 2013 – the period covered by their latest annual report.  In total, the agency data shows that fatalities fell to historic lows in 2013 – 1.10 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled versus 1.14 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2012.

Some of the report’s other 2013 findings:

  • The number of passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes declined by 3% to 21,132 – the lowest number on record dating back to 1975.
  • Pedestrian fatalities also declined 1.7% – to 4,735 – though that number is still 15% higher the record low recorded in 2009.
  • The number of people killed in distraction-affected crashes fell to 3,154 in 2013 from 3,380 in 2012; a 6.7% decrease.

Despite the good news, there are some trouble spots in this latest report:

  • Fatalities among cyclists increased by 1.2 % in 2013 – the highest level since 2006.
  • The NHTSA also reported an uptick in the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks.
  • The estimated number of people injured in distraction-affected crashes (424,000) increased by 1% compared to 2012.

Just what will the future hold for roadway safety?

Hard to tell.  Better engineered cars are one very positive development. However, poor maintenance of our highway infrastructure and an increase in the number of distracted drivers cannot help but cause all of us problems going forward.

If you or a loved one are ever injured in a car, bike, or pedestrian accident, know that the Hartford personal injury lawyers at RisCassi & Davis have been assisting people just like you for almost 60 years.  And we’ve received both state and national recognition for our work in this area. If you’re ever in a car accident of any kind and would like a free consultation with one of our Hartford personal injury lawyers, please contact us.

There is no obligation. And – there is no fee or other costs unless we are successful on your behalf.


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