Although traffic fatalities decreased in the United States to the lowest historical rates in some localities, more bicyclists and commercial truck drivers died in 2012 than in previous years.
Statistics have indicated a link between the number of miles driven and the number of traffic fatalities. The recent decrease in traffic fatalities coincides with a decrease in the amount of miles that motorists drove in 2012. Motorists drove 1.2 percent miles less than in 2011. Federal agencies recorded that there were 1.2 fatalities per every 100 million vehicle miles driven in 2011.
However, not all rates for all types of traffic fatalities are decreasing. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a significant increase arose in the number of cyclists, as well as in the number of fatalities in truck accidents. The exact reason for the increase in cyclist and truck accident fatalities is not known, but some agencies have theories to explain this increase.
The Governors Highway Safety Association theorizes that more bicyclists have died because there has been an increase in the number of people who are using bicycles as their primary form of transportation. More bikes on the road have been associated with more bicycle accidents that have occurred.
The reason for more truck accident fatalities may be explained in a similar way. Trucking and freight activity has seen increases in the last few years due in part to improvements in the nation’s economy. This increase in the number of commercial trucks that are on the road has coincided with a rise in the number of reported truck accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recognizes the problem of increased fatalities in these areas. It has committed to finding the reasons for the problems by working together with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
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