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Old September 20th, 2010, 10:02 PM   #6081
urbanlover
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Highway deaths fall to lowest level since 1950

By KEN THOMAS (AP) – Sep 9, 2010

WASHINGTON — Traffic deaths have plummeted across the United States to levels not seen in more than a half-century, spurred by technology, safety-conscious drivers and tougher enforcement of drunken driving laws.

The Transportation Department said Thursday that traffic deaths fell 9.7 percent in 2009 to 33,808, the lowest number since 1950. In 2008, an estimated 37,423 people died on the highways.

Government and auto safety experts attributed the improvement to more people buckling up, side air bags and anti-rollover technology in more vehicles and a focus in many states on curbing drinking and driving. Economic conditions were also a factor.


Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called the new data "a landmark achievement for public health and safety" but cautioned that too many people are killed on the road each year. "While we've come a long way," he said, "we have a long distance yet to travel."

Forty-one states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico saw reductions in highway fatalities, led by Florida with 422 fewer deaths and Texas, down 405.



http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...ohh1gD9I4IG281
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Old September 20th, 2010, 10:53 PM   #6082
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The Europe vs US gap in traffic safety is becoming increasingly larger. Many European countries halved their traffic fatalities in the last 6 - 8 years, and are now at a considerably lower level than the United States.

I always feel underaged DUI could be a major factor in the United States, as well as more weather-related fatalities than in Europe. It can't be the speed limits, which are way lower in the US than in most of Europe.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 12:21 AM   #6083
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Driver training in the United states verges on the pathetic to the non-existent.

I lived there for two years and in that time I saw more examples of dangerous driving and hare-brained exploits than my entire driving life back in the UK.

Considering the huge emphasis placed on building safe roads (gradual curves and wide lanes and shoulders) and abundance of automatic transmissions in cars, you would think the roads would be some of the most refined and relaxed in the world.

Very poor show.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 12:48 AM   #6084
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
The Europe vs US gap in traffic safety is becoming increasingly larger. Many European countries halved their traffic fatalities in the last 6 - 8 years, and are now at a considerably lower level than the United States.
The UK didn't - but it's started dropping back again - '98 to '06 was pretty much stagnation in fatality reduction, while similar countries - Germany, The Netherlands - overtook us as having the safest roads, because they massively reduced their fatalities.

Is the USA that bad compared to Western Europe when you factor in people-miles? 33,800 is about 11 times bigger than the UK, but the Us has 5 times the population, and is spatially a lot bigger, so that sounds not horrifically bad.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 01:09 AM   #6085
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
The Europe vs US gap in traffic safety is becoming increasingly larger. Many European countries halved their traffic fatalities in the last 6 - 8 years, and are now at a considerably lower level than the United States.

I always feel underaged DUI could be a major factor in the United States, as well as more weather-related fatalities than in Europe. It can't be the speed limits, which are way lower in the US than in most of Europe.
Per billions of km traveled the US is comparable to most European countries the US has 8.5 deaths per billion vechical/km. Austria= 8.8 Belgium= 10.8, France= 7.7 Germany= 6.5 Denmark=8.2, the Netherlands= 7.7, the UK=5.0. Now per capita death are generally death higher, but Americans drive much more and I think that skews the numbers. When compared to the amount actually driven there isn't a big difference.


http://www.internationaltransportfor...d/pdf/risk.pdf

Last edited by urbanlover; September 21st, 2010 at 01:17 AM.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 01:13 AM   #6086
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Wow that Dutch figure is outdated. 650 fatalities on 199 billion km = 3.3 not 7.7.

Interesting to note the US seems to score twice as bad on freeways than Europe.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 01:56 AM   #6087
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I think it goes back to our drivers being some of the worst in the western world and dependence on the car to get everywhere as to why we have so many accidents.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 02:27 AM   #6088
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It should be noted in this discussion that there is missing point. How expensive is it to save additional life on the roads compared to saving someone by providing e.g. quality healthcare. Or by providing other public goods than just road safety.

We don't usually see people dying from cancer on the news. There is no action about it. However van piercing a truck is very messy business...

That being said I am not against increasing safety standards... just that the marginal value of this should be compared with other means of spending public money.

This is however pricing human life and thats what people let alone polititians don't like to do.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 07:46 AM   #6089
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Change of topic, here's a video of the Katy Freeway (I-10): one of the most impressive sections of highway in the USA.



I'm not really a fan of frontage roads along highways, but it's HOV system should be a model for all others. Very well implemented.
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Last edited by Haljackey; September 21st, 2010 at 07:52 AM.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 11:39 AM   #6090
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Originally Posted by I-275westcoastfl View Post
I think it goes back to (...) dependence on the car to get everywhere as to why we have so many accidents.
That does not explain the factor 2 gap between many EU countries and the US. Automobile usage in Europe is not that much lower than the United States, approximately 92% vs 84%.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 11:36 PM   #6091
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Is that car ownership or annual miles driven?
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Old September 21st, 2010, 11:46 PM   #6092
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Modal split.

Car ownership is higher in the US because it is generally too expensive to keep an old, little-used car in Europe. Even a 15 year old car which drives 1,000 miles per year can cost you as much as $ 2,000 per year in fees, gas, insurance and vehicle inspections.

However, car ownership does not indicate automobile usage. For example, the modal split is 92% car, and 8% other in the US, with a car ownership of 765 vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants, while it is 82% car and 18% other in the Netherlands at 460 vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants. So car ownership does not translate directly in modal split.

Last edited by ChrisZwolle; September 21st, 2010 at 11:51 PM.
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Old September 22nd, 2010, 05:06 AM   #6093
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Yea I understand but I'd think that the average American drives more miles annually thus increasing the risk. Are there any stats out there?
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Old September 22nd, 2010, 11:47 AM   #6094
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Average UK driver travels 7755 miles a year

http://www.roadrecord.co.uk/news/art...ar-proportions

Average USA driver travels 12000 miles a year

http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/1608077


So the average american only travels about 4245 miles more than the average Brit (154%) yet americans are three and a half times (350%) more likely to be killed in an accident.

3.59 vs 12.3 (per 100,000 inhabitants)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ted_death_rate

Last edited by strandeed; September 22nd, 2010 at 11:54 AM.
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Old September 22nd, 2010, 12:45 PM   #6095
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strandeed View Post
Average UK driver travels 7755 miles a year

http://www.roadrecord.co.uk/news/art...ar-proportions

Average USA driver travels 12000 miles a year

http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/1608077


So the average american only travels about 4245 miles more than the average Brit (154%) yet americans are three and a half times (350%) more likely to be killed in an accident.

3.59 vs 12.3 (per 100,000 inhabitants)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ted_death_rate
Also keep in mind that we've got a lot more open rural roads without much traffic, where people are more likely to drive too fast. Britain has more traffic and fewer rural areas with such roads. Plus there's a term I think is relevant... "Driving culture."
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Old September 22nd, 2010, 12:52 PM   #6096
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The most dangerous roads, statistically speaking, are two-lane rural roads. That is where most fatalities relative to a billion driving miles happen. City streets are next, and freeways are the safest, although it seems weird that the U.S. freeway fatalities are so much higher than in most of Europe.
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Old September 22nd, 2010, 04:04 PM   #6097
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Alright well then again I think it just leads back to Americans lacking driving skills.
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Old September 22nd, 2010, 04:50 PM   #6098
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Alright well then again I think it just leads back to Americans lacking driving skills.
Yea , Unfortnatly thats another thing were behind on....
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 04:35 PM   #6099
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
The most dangerous roads, statistically speaking, are two-lane rural roads. That is where most fatalities relative to a billion driving miles happen. City streets are next, and freeways are the safest, although it seems weird that the U.S. freeway fatalities are so much higher than in most of Europe.
Purely down to the lack of driver training IMO...

US roads are some of the best engineered, widest (inner and outer shoulders) and straightest in the world.

Americans also tend to drive much larger cars than the rest of the world so in theory they should be better protected.

Therefore the logical conclusion is that education, training and enforcement is inadequate.
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 04:41 PM   #6100
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Americans also tend to drive much larger cars than the rest of the world so in theory they should be better protected.
It should be noted impact force (kinetic energy) with heavier vehicles is bigger, and SUV's and pickup trucks are prone to tipping over.
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