EHS & Waste Management

Road Safety – US Road Deaths Hit 40,000 For 3 Years In Succession

By March 18, 2019 No Comments

Road Safety – Road deaths in the United States are slowly declining despite hitting 40,000 for the last three years, according the National Safety Council (NSC). With a population of 325 million this represents 123 deaths per million people.

Preliminary estimates from the NSC show that in 2018, an estimated 40,000 people lost their lives to car crashes, down 1% from 2017 (40,231 deaths) and 2016 (40,327 deaths).
“Forty-thousand deaths is simply unacceptable,” said Nick Smith, NSC interim president and CEO. “We cannot afford to tread water anymore. We know what works, but need to demonstrate the commitment to implementing the solutions. Roadway deaths are preventable by doubling down on what works, embracing technology advancements and creating a culture of safer driving.”

Approximately 4.5 million people were seriously injured in crashes last year – also a 1% over 2017 figures. Seven states – Florida, Hawaii, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania – as well as Washington D.C. had at least a 5.8% spike in fatalities. Five states experienced declines of more than 9.4%: Kansas, Maine, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Wyoming.

The new figures signal a leveling off after years of consecutive rises. However, 2018’s preliminary estimates still are 14% higher than four years ago. Driver behavior is likely contributing to the numbers staying stubbornly high, the NSC stated.

To help ensure safer roads, NSC urges motorists to:

  • Practice defensive driving.
  • Buckle up
  • Designate a sober driver or arrange alternative transportation
  • Get plenty of sleep to avoid fatigue, and drive attentively, avoiding distractions.
  • Recognize the dangers of drugged driving, including impairment from prescription opioids.
  • Stay engaged in teens’ driving habits.
  • Learn about your vehicle’s safety systems and how to use them.
  • Fix recalls immediately.
  • Ask lawmakers and state leaders to protect travelers on state roadways.
  • Join the Road to Zero to understand how safety professionals are addressing motor vehicle fatalities.

The NSC has issued traffic fatality estimates since 1921. Additional information can be found on the organization’s website.

In comparison the deaths on roads in Ireland in 2018 were 148, with a population of just under 5 million, this represents a death rate of 29.6 per million people, this is almost 100 people per million less than the US.

In Ireland, in the period January – December 2018 there were 141 fatal collisions resulting in 148 fatalities on Irish roads. This represents the same number of collisions and 5% fewer deaths (-8) compared to provisional data for the full year of 2017.

Of the 148 fatalities, there were 62 Drivers killed, 20 Passengers, 42 Pedestrians, 15 Motorcyclists and 9 Pedal Cyclists.

The month of May (5) had the lowest number of fatalities in 2018, while April (17) June, November and December (16 per month) were particularly dangerous. The average number of deaths per month in 2018 (12 deaths per month) is less than the monthly average in 2017.

Sunday (32) was the most dangerous day in 2018, followed by Tuesday (23) and Monday (21).

In 2018, the county of Cork (16) and the county of Dublin (15) had the highest record of road fatalities.

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