According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, vehicles are safer than a decade ago. As a result, fewer people are dying in car accidents.
The NHTSA collected data from police reports, attributing safer vehicle designs as the reason why people are surviving more and more accidents. Data analyzed from model year 2000 vehicles all the way up to the 2008 model year show design improvements which have helped save an estimated 2,000 lives and prevent 1 million passenger injuries during the 2008 calendar year alone.
“Between better safety practices developed at the Department of Transportation and improved designs by automakers, we are making real progress protecting drivers and passengers nationwide,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We celebrate the historic decline in deaths and injuries on our roads as we remain laser-focused on continuing to improve safety.”
The NHTSA report shows that the likelihood of surviving a crash without injury jumped from 79 to 82 percent over the course of eight model years from 2000 to 2008. Statistical models were used in an effort to segregate vehicle improvements from driver and environmental factors. Traffic fatalities are also on the decline over the past decade, with that number falling to 32,885 in 2010, the in six decades. This in spite of the fact that more people are driving more miles than ever before, even as gas prices continue to rise. As for the trend of reduced automotive fatalities, the NHTSA expects that to continue.
“We expect this trend to continue as automakers add advanced safety features to their fleets and continue to improve vehicle designs to earn top safety ratings under our newly updated 5-Star crash-test program,” said David Strickland, NHTSA Administrator. “Safer cars, along with safer drivers and roads, are key components in ensuring the annual number of traffic fatalities remains on a downward trajectory.”
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