Boston Car Blog

NHTSA study shows the roads are the safest they've ever been

The worst thing you can experience on the road is a collision with another vehicle. Statistics abound from organizations like the National Safety Council claim your odds of dying in a car crash are almost shockingly likely - 1 in 112 over the course of your lifetime, according to data from 2010. News sources like Forbes point out that driving is one of - if not the - most dangerous daily activities.

You've heard the horror stories and seen the campaigns. Every year, government organizations and non-profit companies launch efforts to decrease distracted driving, encourage sobriety behind the wheel and inform young teens about the dangers of the road. This is the same reason parents jump through hoops to turn their children into safe and honest drivers and crash safety ratings are one of the highest selling points for motorists looking for a new vehicle.

With tragedies on the road taking headlines on a less-than-comforting basis, it's about time you heard some good news for a change.

The safest roads since 1964
A recent study completed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that the number of road fatalities is the lowest its been since the agency started collecting information about collisions and deaths in 1964. The Fatality Analysis Reporting System report stated there were 32,719 in 2013, which is still a high number. But that's a 3.1 percent drop from 2012 and a decrease of about 25 percent since 2004. Injuries are on a similar downswing, falling 2.1 percent.

At 1.10 people per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, 2013 was the safest year in terms of the fatality rate on the road ever recorded, tying with the same rate recorded in 2011. Across the board - from motorcycles to passenger vehicles to big rigs - motor vehicles all reported lower fatality rates on the road.

There's still room for improvement
There are still ways in which the average driver can make some safety progress, though. The NHTSA noted that drunk driving remains a huge cause for concern on the road. Overall, drunk drivers were involved in 10,706 of the traffic fatalities in 2013. That's around 30 percent of the total number of deaths on the road.

The next time you're getting ready to sit behind the wheel of your car, make sure you're in the right state of mind. Some drivers refuse to even turn the key to the ignition if they've had a drink. Others skate the razors edge by gambling for a .08 in the event they're pulled over. Still more toss their safety to the wind and tear onto the road no matter how much they've had to drink. Don't make that risk. What you do on the road can imperil the lives of other drivers as well as yourself, and sometimes even the highest rated crash safety vehicle isn't enough to protect an innocent driver from a tragedy.

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