Atlanta GM Dealer: Nationwide Crash Death Statistics

I don’t know about you, but for those of us at your Atlanta GM dealer, The Southtowne General Motors Superstore, who spend large amounts of time on Atlanta area highways we see all sorts of drivers, from good to bad to the downright horrible.   I took some time and did a little looking around to see what I could find about Atlanta crash statistics. What I found though that really caught my attention were National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) studies, including an annual report about traffic deaths.  Consumer Reports reviewed the details of this study and summarized that three major factors caused vehicle fatalities:  alcohol, seat belts and speeding.

Keep reading to learn about Consumer Report’s summary of each:

Alcohol
Crash deaths related to alcohol consumption declined in the 1980s, but there has been little progress made since the mid-1990s. In 2009, there were 10,839 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities, marking a decline of 7.4 percent from 2008. That’s consistent with the decline in overall deaths from 2008 to 2009, as those are down over 9 percent.

Research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) estimates that 7,440 driver deaths would’ve been prevented if blood-alcohol content was below .08 percent. Ignition interlock systems are one way to combat the problem. National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) is looking to help states increase interlock use and strengthen their laws. Many people who are involved in alcohol-related crashes are repeat offenders, so this is one way to tackle the problem that has proven effective in some states. (See “New York to require interlock devices for all DUI offenders.”)

Seat belts
Seat belt compliance is at 85 percent overall. Simply stated, the drivers and passengers who don’t buckle up are more likely to die in motor vehicle crashes. In 2009 just 44 percent of passengers and 40 percent of drivers were belted in fatal crashes. It’s clear that seat belts save lives. Campaigns such as “Click It or Ticket” have helped, but not all states have the same laws and enforcement. Those states with primary seat belt laws (where police can pull you over for only that offense) have a higher compliance rate.

Speeding
In 2009, speeding was a contributing factor in 31 percent of crashes and has consistently been a factor in a third of vehicle deaths since 2000. Speeding leads to more deaths on minor roads compared to interstates or other major roads. More enforcement and wider use of red-light cameras are some solutions to helping combat the need for speed on the roads. The Insurance Institute recently noted that speeding and running red lights are some of the most important safety issues. However, there is little public support for greater speed enforcement and traffic cameras.

Do you find these results surprising?  Is there anything else that you’d add to the list?   What about distracted driving stats? If you know the statistics leave them in the comments section. Your Atlanta GM dealer, the Southtowne General Motors Superstore is always concerned with the well-being of Atlanta Area drivers.

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