URGENT ACTION NEEDED TO IMPROVE HIGHWAY SAFETY
From Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety
Driving an automobile is an American way of life. With over 4 million miles of roadway, Americans are afforded a significant degree of mobility. Yet this increased access offered by our nation’s highway system comes with an enormous social cost – over 5.5 million crashes annually resulting in more than 33,000 fatalities on average and 2.3 million injuries, at an economic cost to society in excess of $230 billion. Every day over 90 people are killed on America’s streets and highways, and almost 6,500 are injured. While federal action and safety requirements can address part of the problem, state laws have a direct effect on promoting safer behavior by drivers and occupants. Unfortunately, too many state legislatures are not taking proactive steps to reduce these numbers by enacting effective and proven highway safety laws.
Key Facts About This Leading Public Health Epidemic:
- 33,561 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2012—an increase of 3.3% from 2011.
- This is the first annual increase in motor vehicle fatalities after six consecutive years of decline.
- Automobile crashes remain the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of five and 24.
- An estimated 2.36 million people were injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2012.
- In 2012, more than half (52%) of passenger vehicle occupants killed were unrestrained.
- Crashes involving teen drivers resulted in 4,640 total fatalities in 2012.
- A total of 4,957 motorcyclists died in 2012, an increase from 2011. This death toll accounts for 15% of all fatalities.
- 1,168 children ages 14 and younger were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2012.
- 291 children ages four through seven were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2012.
- More than 3.5 million people have been killed in motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. since 1899.
The more than 5.5 million police-reported motor vehicle crashes in 2012 cost our nation in excess of $230 billion in property and productivity losses, medical and emergency bills and other related costs. This adds up to a “crash tax” of $730 for every person, every year.
An additional 333 new laws need to be adopted in all states and DC to fully meet Advocates’ recommendations for basic safety laws.
- 2012 Fatalities: 126
- Fatalities since 1989: 3,135
- Annual Economic Cost Due to Motor Vehicle Crashes: $655 Million
- Highway Safety Laws Needed in Hawaii: All-Rider Motorcycle Helmet Law
- GDL - Minimum Age 16 for Learner’s Permit
- GDL - Stronger Nighttime Restriction Provision
- GDL - Age 18 for Unrestricted License
PDF: 11TH ANNUAL ROADMAP OF STATE HIGHWAY SAFETY LAWS
PBN: Hawaii among 10 states with best traffic laws