Road & Travel Magazine

                Bookmark and Share  

Automotive Channel

Auto Advice & Tips
Auto Products
Auto Buyer's Guides
Car Care Maintenance
Earth Aware Awards
Insurance & Accidents

Car of Year Awards
Legends & Leaders
New Car Reviews
Planet Driven
Road Humor
Road Trips
Safety & Security
Teens & Tots
Tire Buying Tips
Used Car Buying
Vehicle Model Guide
What Women Want

Travel Channel
Adventure Travel
Advice & Tips
Airline Rules
Bed & Breakfasts
Cruises & Tours
Destination Reviews
Earth Tones
Family Travel Tips
Health Trip
Hotels & Resorts
Luxury Travel
Pet Travel
Safety & Security
Spa Reviews
Train Vacations
Travel Products
Travel Directory
What Women Want

Follow Us
Facebook | Pinterest
Traffic Deaths an Epidemic

Traffic Deaths an Epidemic?

U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta called highway traffic deaths a “national epidemic” and encouraged Americans to view safety belts as preventative medicine. He announced mixed results in the effort to reduce the number of people who die on U.S. highways each year. While the fatality rate dropped and alcohol-related crashes are down from 2003, 42,800 died on the nation’s highways in 2004, up slightly from 42,643 in 2003, according to projected 2004 data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a preliminary report.

“We are in the midst of a national epidemic,” said Secretary Mineta. “If this many people were to die from any one disease in a single year, Americans would demand a vaccine. The irony is we already have the best vaccine available to reduce the death toll on our highways – safety belts.”

NHTSA’s report projects a fatality rate of 1.46 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT), a drop from a record low of 1.48 in 2003, Mineta said.

The report also projects the seventh straight increase in motorcycle fatalities. In 2004, 3,927 motorcyclists died, a 7.3 percent increase. In 2003, there were 3,661 motorcycle fatalities, the report said.

Traffic crashes come at an enormous cost to society, Mineta noted. NHTSA estimates show that highway crashes cost society $230.6 billion a year, about $820 per person.

“Sadly, traffic crashes continue to be the leading cause of death in American children and young adults,” said NHTSA Administrator Jeffrey Runge, M.D. “While seat belt use, at 80 percent, is at an all-time high, we could save thousands more lives each year if everyone buckled-up.”

NHTSA collects crash statistics from 50 states and the District of Columbia to produce the annual report on traffic fatality trends. The final 2004 report will be available in August.

Summaries of the preliminary report are available at

Copyright ©2018 - 2020 | ROAD & TRAVEL Magazine | All rights reserved.