Fatalities Down, Seatbelts Clicked.

Despite the new challenges of distracted driving, we have a little something to celebrate.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently reported that for the first three quarters of 2009 an estimated 25,576 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. There is good news in these numbers, since this is a decline of about 7.9 percent from 2008.

Amazingly, the third quarter of 2009 is the 14th consecutive quarter of declines in
fatalities, as compared to the same quarter from the previous year. In fact, traffic fatalities have declined steadily since 2005. Although vehicle miles traveled may have dropped slightly, the fatality statistics are generally positive.

Another area of vehicle safety showing positive results is seat belt use. The federal government’s “Click it or Ticket” campaign appears to be paying off and saving lives.

The NHTSA reports that for 2009 seatbelt use was up. In 2009 seat belt use was at 84 percent, a gain from 83 percent use in 2008. These results are from the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS) which provides nationwide probability-based observed data on seat belt use in the United States. The survey is conducted annually by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis of the NHTSA. Seat belt use has been increasing steadily since 1994, accompanied by a steady decline in the percentage of unrestrained passenger vehicle occupant fatalities.

The new challenge that counters these positives — distracted driving.

The California Injury Attorney Blog will keep you posted on that emerging problem.

Related Web Resources

For more information on seat belt safety visit the NHTSA website.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an motor vehicle accident, contact the San Francisco, California law firm of Hersh & Hersh for a free consultation with one of our lawyers.