Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and roads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Pennsylvania’s increase in traffic deaths in 2012 was smaller than the rise nationwide — the first increase in U.S. fatalities since 2005, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported today.
The NHTSA reported a 3.3 percent increase in U.S. traffic fatalities for the year to 33,561 people killed, an increase of 1,082 from 2011.
Seventy-two percent of the increase — 778 of the 1,082 deaths — came in the first quarter of the year, and over half of those deaths were motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians and other people not in vehicles, NHTSA reported. The agency noted that the first quarter of the year was also the warmest on record.
Some good news to report about the safety of America’s highways! In 2010 32,788 people died on the nation’s highways. This is down from 43,320 deaths in 2005, which represents a 25 percent decrease in five years.
In 1949 the U.S. population was less than half of what was reported in the 2010 census. The number of miles driven rose by 20.5 billion in 2010. With more cars and people on the nation’s highways than ever before, the fatality rate per 100 million miles was 1.09 in 2010 (a record low).
A big reason for the reduction of automotive fatalities is the use of seatbelts. Nationally, seatbelt usage stands at 85 percent, which is an all time high. Along with technology like anti-lock brakes, airbags and drunken driving crackdowns, seatbelt use has made a huge impact on driver safety.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.