Traffic Death’s on America’s Highways Down

According to Mary E. Peters, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, traffic deaths were down slightly in 2006 in preliminary figures. The projected figures indicate that traffic deaths declined nationwide from 43,443 in 2005 to 43,300 in 2006. According to statistics, over half of the occupants who were killed in these accidents died while not wearing their seatbelts. The Secretary noted that police officers around the country are on patrol looking for people who aren’t buckled up. The United States Department of Transportation gives states millions of dollars yearly in support of highway safety. This includes the nearly $27 million dollars used for seat belt enforcement.

Preliminary figures indicate that the 2006 fatality rate is 1.44 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. This figure is down from 1.45 in 2005. Injuries from motor vehicle accidents also dropped from 2.7 million in 2005 to 2.54 million in 2006, a nearly 6 percent drop. Pedestrian deaths dropped from 4,881 to 4,768 deaths and large truck accidents dropped from 5,212 to 5,018. Not all the figures declined though. Alcohol related fatalities increased 2.4 percent to 17,941 deaths. The United States Department of Transportation collects the crash statistics from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The final report will be available at the end of summer.

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