2002 Highway Deaths Highest Since 1990
2002, an estimated 42,850 people died on the nations highways,
the highest number of fatalities since 1990, according to preliminary
estimates from the U. S. Department of Transportations National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) remained
unchanged at 1.51, according to preliminary estimates.
highway fatalities increased again in 2002 while the majority
of passenger vehicle occupants killed were not wearing safety
belts, according to the preliminary estimates.
in rollover crashes involving sport utility vehicles and pickup
trucks accounted for 53 percent of the increase in traffic deaths.
In 2002, 10,626 people died in rollover crashes, up 4.9 percent
from 10,130 in 2001.
preliminary report also notes some significant progress.
said that deaths of children seven and under dropped to historic
low levels. In 2002, 980 children seven and under were killed,
down from 1,053 in 2001. Pedestrian deaths also declined to 4,776,
a 2.2 percent drop from 2001. The number of persons injured in
crashes also declined from an estimated 3,033,000 in 2001 to 2,914,000
in 2002, almost a four percent drop.
earlier estimated that highway crashes cost society $230.6 billion
a year, about $820 per person.
preliminary 2002 statistics also continue to show the increased
risk of death and injury when drivers and passengers do not wear
safety belts: 59 percent of those killed in crashes last year
were not belted.
Summaries of the preliminary report are available on the NHTSA
National Highway Traffic