Key Annual Statistics for the USA
|Total Road Deaths in the USA||42,196||43,005||42,884||42,636|
|Fatalities per 100 Million Vehicle Miles Traveled (the ‘VMT rate’)||1.51||1.51||1.48||1.46|
|Fatalities per 100,000 Population (the ‘per capita’ rate)||14.80||14.94||14.75||14.52|
|Fatalities per 10,000 Registered Vehicles||19.07||19.06||18.58||18.00|
Source: FARS (per their figures as at November 13, 2005)
DSA Comment: The most saddening and reprehensible aspect of these figures is the failure of the relevant governmental bodies to significantly reduce the overall number of deaths, year-on-year.
Most developed nations have made vastly greater reductions and — in addition — have targets to further cut their respective, overall road-death tolls by either 40 percent or 50 percent, by either 2010 or 2012 (with these variables depending on the specific countries).
The USA, however, only has a goal to reduce the VMT rate to 1.00 by 2008 (as confirmed by the US DOT in 2004), yet from the above figures alone, two startling facts emerge:
— the achievement of this goal seems remarkably unlikely
— even when the VMT rate stays level or reduces, it is quite possible for the total number of actual road deaths to increase (see 2001-02, and 2001-03, above). As a result of this it is clear that a mere reduction in the VMT rate is an inadequate and even negligently lethal goal for such a progressive and otherwise immensely successful nation.
Comparative per capita rates for over 50 countries may be viewed here.