Truck-related fatalities decline in 2002
Jun 1, 2003 12:00 PM
The number of truck-related highway accident fatalities dropped 3.5% in 2002, while overall highway deaths rose slightly, according to preliminary estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Fatalities from large-truck crashes fell to 4,902 in 2002 from 5,082 in 2001, says NHTSA. An estimated 42,850 people died on United States highways in 2002, up from 42,116 in 2001, the highest number of fatalities since 1990.
However, vehicle miles traveled increased slightly in 2002 to 2.83 trillion, up from 2.78 trillion in 2001, according to the Federal Highway Administration. That means the highway fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled remained unchanged at 1.51, even though the total number of highway deaths rose in 2002.
NHTSA's preliminary 2002 statistics also show that the risk of death and injury when drivers and passengers do not wear safety belts continues to climb, as 59% of those killed in crashes in 2002 were not belted.
Alcohol-related crashes accounted for 17,970 highway deaths, which is up 1% from the previous year.
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