Automobile Fatalities and Injuries

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, (DOT), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, (NHTSA), there were 42,116 total traffic fatalities in this country in the year 2001.

Of this number, 36,386 fatalities were suffered by occupants of vehicles. 20,233 fatalities were incurred in passenger cars, 12,381 in trucks and 3,772 in other vehicles. There were 5,730 non-occupant fatalities which were made up of pedestrians (4,882) and pedal cyclists (728).

In terms of passenger car fatalities, subcompact vehicles had the most fatalities (4,417), followed by compact cars (6,718), Intermediate vehicles (5,401), and full sized cars (3,168). Full size cars were cars with a wheelbase of 110 inches or greater. 529 passenger car fatalities could not be attributed to a specific type of vehicle.

Surprisingly, more than half of the traffic fatalities occurring in 2001 occurred in a rural area (23,396). 3,105 of those occurred on rural interstates, 8,692 occurred on other main highways, 7,305 on rural connector roads and 4,294 on local roads. The urban highway fatalities are broken down as: 15,219 total deaths on urban highways of which 2,371 occurred on urban interstates, 8,838 on major highways, 1,007 on urban connector roads, and 3,003 on local urban roads.

The NHTSA statistics also determined that in the year 2001 there were 2.12 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles travelled on rural highways and 0.91 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles travelled on urban highways.

In 2000, NHTSA estimated that there were 3,189,000 injured persons arising out of estimated 6,394,000 police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes in this country. This represents 122 injured persons and 305 crashes per 100 million vehicle miles travelled in 2001.

These figures are up from the same categories of the year 2000, wherein there was an estimated 4,926,243 crashes resulting in 2,051,609 injured persons and 20,699 passenger car fatalities

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