Recent statistics indicate the number of fatal car accidents in the U.S. is at a historic low, with only 1.1 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles recorded in 2010. Still, that amounts to 32,885 people who died that year, and the low rate is of little comfort to those whose family members were among the dead.
Even more troubling, those who study the statistics say, is the fact that aggressive driving and speeding were responsible for approximately a third of the fatalities, or 10,530 deaths in 2010. And yet more measures to aggressively curb speeding may be unheeded. Only two of the 50 states enacted any enhanced penalties for speeding in the last seven years, and one of those states limited the increased fines to drivers of commercial vehicles.
Progress has been made on other fronts, however, such as a 23 percent decrease in the number of those killed in car accidents since 2000 while not wearing safety belts. Additionally, in the same time period, there has been a 3 percent reduction in the number of car accidents in which use of alcohol was found to have played a role.
The thousands of people who continue to die each year in such accidents, however, are more than just statistics. They are somebody’s parent, spouse, child, sibling, grandparent, neighbor or friend. If drivers and traffic safety officials would only try to remember that and perhaps take speeding and aggressive driving more seriously, traffic accident deaths could be still further reduced. Then fewer people would face the trauma of burying a loved one whose life was suddenly cut short by an untimely auto accident.
Source: The Car Connection, “Speeding, Aggressive Driving Still Cause 1/3 Of Fatal Accidents,” Richard Read, March 9, 2012