Car Crash Deaths Decreased in 2017: SUV is Most Deadly Vehicle
The annual report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released last month showed that 2017 had a slight decrease in traffic fatalities over 2016 but it was small comfort when crash deaths were up 6.5 percent in 2016 and 8.4 percent in 2015. In addition, evidence keeps mounting that the SUV, which is America’s most popular vehicle, is becoming more and more deadly on the roads. Traffic deaths decreased by 1.8 percent in 2017; the first drop since 2013. The one type of vehicle that saw an increase in fatalities was SUVs.
Breaking down car crash deaths by the numbers
In 2017, vehicle miles traveled (VMT) increased 1.2 percent while the fatality rate per 100 million VMTs decreased by 2.5 percent. The first half of 2018 is looking promising with a 3.1 percent drop in motor vehicle accident deaths compared to the first six months of 2017. This drop also translates into a lower fatality rate with 1.08 fatalities per 100 million VMT compared to 1.12 fatalities per 100 million VMT in the first half of 2017.
A drop in rural car accident deaths was offset by an increase in urban traffic accident fatalities with the number of pedestrians and bicyclists killed by car drivers at a 20-year high. The increase in city accidents correlates with more and more people moving to the cities for job opportunities. Up until the year 2015 there were more rural crash deaths than urban, marking a big change in the way Americans are living.
Statisticians found that the number of people killed while driving or riding in an SUV went up by three percent in 2017. Sales of SUVs and light trucks have more than doubled since 2010, now making up 60 percent of new vehicle sales in the United States. Pedestrian deaths involving an SUV have increased by a shocking 81 percent in the last ten years according to a report released earlier this year by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Safety experts agree that pedestrians are more likely to receive a deadly blow to the torso or get trapped underneath when hit by an SUV because of their large bodies and higher carriages compared to a traditional car.
Understanding how to drive an SUV is vital to preventing an unnecessary accident. See SUV safety tips here.
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