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Traffic Fatalities Surge in 2016
Overall, there was an increase in drivers on the road as estimated Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) grew 2.2% in 2016 and the fatality rate per 100 million VMT went up 2.6%.
Total fatalities increased 5.6% and speed-related crashes increased by 4%. Pedestrian fatalities saw the biggest increase at 9% and the NHTSA reports that the 5,967 fatalities from 2016 are “the highest number since 1990.”
Study: Red Light Cameras Reduce Crashes in Chicago
A new study has just been published from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS-HLDI) on red-light cameras, (IIHS-HLDI Status Report, Vol. 52, No. 7), and their effectiveness in reducing crashes and injuries.
Northwest University conducted a study for the City of Chicago, which IIHS-HLDI cited was “one of the biggest automated enforcement programs in the country” and found that overall, red-light cameras were successful in reducing “injury crashes by 10 percent and angle injury crashes by 19 percent.”
Study: Distracted Driving Now a Problem in School Zones
A new study was released last month highlighting that distracted driving is the now becoming the new problem around school zones. The mobile driver analytics company, Zendrive, captured data from over 2,000 counties across the U.S. last winter and using their “Zendrive School Safety Snapshot”, came up with some surprising results in driver behavior.
Analyzing over 75,000 schools and the roads directly surrounding them, it turns out that drivers are not always paying attention when driving through school zones. This can be a major risk to our children as pedestrian traffic increases, especially around drop-off and pickup times, the chances of injury and/or death goes up as well.
New Study Calls for Automated Speed Enforcement to Reduce Crashes
The study titled “Safety Study: Reducing Speeding-Related Crashes Involving Passenger Vehicles,” includes NTSB’s recommendations for reducing speed-related injuries and fatalities on U.S. highways.
After analyzing data from 2005 to 2014, they found 112,580 crash fatalities were from speeding alone. NTSB writes, “To put that number in perspective, nearly the same number of people – 112,948 – died in alcohol-involved crashes in the same period.”
Case for Enforcement
Each year, thousands of lives are lost from excessive speeding, red light running and other traffic accidents that can be easily be prevented.
In 2014, over 9,000 lives were lost to speeding in the United States, which accounted for almost one-third of all traffic fatalities that year. That same year saw over 126,000 people injured from running red lights and another 709 killed.
With more drivers on the road than ever before, police departments are dealing with significant traffic challenges. With 25% of speed-related crashes occurring on local roads, more than any other roadway, cities are looking to find ways to curb dangerous driving behavior.
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