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New England saw over 18% more fatalities in 2010 than 2009  (Source: Detroit News)
Less deaths thanks to safer cars and other factors

Despite all the warnings and talk about traffic fatalities related to distracted driving and texting while driving, many continue these unsafe activities. Despite the continued ignoring of law in many states by many drivers, the death rate from traffic fatalities has declined in 2010.

What's impressive about the decline in deaths from traffic accidents in 2010 is that it happened despite the fact that more driver miles were reported in 2010. This is the fifth straight year that a reduction in fatalities on the nation's highways has been recorded. In 2010, the number of deaths in on the roads in America dropped to 32,788. That is the lowest number since 1949 according to federal regulators.

Fatalities also declined 3.2% compared to the number from 2009. The highway miles increased in 2010 to about 20.5 billion miles more than in 2009.

However, there are three areas in the U.S that saw an increase in traffic fatalities in 2010. The areas include New England and the Midwest with fatalities up 18.9% in New England and 3.9% in the Midwest. The figures are based on projections with final numbers to be released this summer.

The 2010 fatality rate is expected to be 1.09 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled; the rate was 1.13 per 100 million miles in 2009.

"Last year's drop in traffic fatalities is welcome news and it proves that we can make a difference," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Still, too many of our friends and neighbors are killed in preventable roadway tragedies every day. We will continue doing everything possible to make cars safer, increase seat belt use, put a stop to drunk driving and distracted driving and encourage drivers to put safety first."

LaHood is one of the driving forces behind the bans on texting while driving and the push to hands free technology. However, LaHood isn't opposed to seeking bans on hands free tech as well if it is found to contribute to accidents on the nation's roads. The reduced deaths are attributed to better policing of drunk drivers and safer cars among other things.

David Strickland from the NHTSA said, "NHTSA will continue pressing forward on all of our safety initiatives to make sure our roads are as safe [as possible]."



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RE: "We don't care"
By mcnabney on 4/1/2011 1:23:28 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, having a radio 'on' in the car or a passenger have all been shown to increase the odds of an accident. I don't have a problem requiring passive restraints and design adjustments, but eliminating freedoms is a problem.

If you want to eliminate the most important risk factors raise the driving age to 25 and ban all mind-altering substances.


RE: "We don't care"
By sviola on 4/1/2011 1:36:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you want to eliminate the most important risk factors raise the driving age to 25 and ban all mind-altering substances.


Right...because that has worked very well in preventing people from using them in the past (banning alcohol) and continues working nowadays (banning drugs).


RE: "We don't care"
By FaaR on 4/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: "We don't care"
By Kurz on 4/1/2011 2:35:28 PM , Rating: 3
It also has a strong effect of increasing Violence, Crime, Proverty, more people in our prison systems which just come in to join the crimial club for the rest of their lives.

Legalization of all drugs (besides Antibiotics) is the only sane solution.


RE: "We don't care"
By The Raven on 4/1/2011 3:08:07 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
besides Antibiotics

Say what? I'd hate to see a black antibiotic market lol.


RE: "We don't care"
By theArchMichael on 4/1/11, Rating: 0
RE: "We don't care"
By Kurz on 4/1/2011 3:34:12 PM , Rating: 4
I just hate Bacteria that are immune to antibiotics because some moron didn't follow the directions.

Antibiotics are probably one of the few drugs that can effect others besides yourself.


RE: "We don't care"
By The Raven on 4/1/2011 5:26:06 PM , Rating: 2
I don't follow you, because many other drugs are very dangerous to society. Ever heard of someone killed by a drunk driver?
Plus I just hate bacteria that are immune to antibiotics because some moron who did follow the directions as well.

We can't take away someone's freedom just because WE think wanton AB abuse is bad and others don't.


RE: "We don't care"
By ClownPuncher on 4/1/2011 6:14:24 PM , Rating: 1
Driving under the influence is already illegal. Being under the influence is not.

Banning the use of anything is a fundamentally flawed ideal.


RE: "We don't care"
By TSS on 4/1/2011 7:53:40 PM , Rating: 2
Freedom is far *less* important then the prevention of creating anti-biotic resistant bacteria.

I just had a bowel infection for a week. Had to go to the bathroom every 10 minutes in constant pain. No more then 3 hours of sleep each night, in 1 hour intervals. If there is anything i'd call the opposite of free i'd say that.

6 pills, 2 a day for 3 days. Cleared it right up. Pre-anti biotics, it would've taken 3 months, if it didn't kill me.

And that pain didn't even register compared to the tooth infection i had 3 weeks ago for 10 days. Anti biotics took care of that within a week as well.

I sincerly do not want to think how much pain i would've had with both infections concurrently, nor how long that would've taken.

If we lose anti biotics medicin is back in the dark ages. And all it takes is 1 smuck who took anti biotics every time he had a runny nose because his busy schedule didn't allow him to be sick, and when the real thing hit, he had too much of a tolerance.

Hell even killing 40 million people would be justified if that would forever prevent anti-biotic resistant bacteria. That would be a blip on the amount of death there would be with a outbreak of a new super bacteria. Especially with todays crowded population centers.


RE: "We don't care"
By ClownPuncher on 4/1/2011 7:57:18 PM , Rating: 4
You're supposed to wash the carrot before you put it all the way up there.


RE: "We don't care"
By wordsworm on 4/2/2011 10:28:31 PM , Rating: 2
Did it ever occur to you that it's the people who take antibiotics at the drop of a hat that are the problem?

I don't take antibiotics. Most of the time they serve no purpose and do more harm than good.

Let's see... last week, no bowel infection. Actually, I've never had one.

Tooth infection... well, I keep my gums clean. I've never had a tooth infection either.

Maybe you're the problem because of all the antibiotics you take.

I know folks who will take them for any illness at all. They get a common cold or a flu, the doc gives them a shot and he or she gets his enormous fee for his secretary to administer the shot. Meanwhile, there's no telling if what's making them sick was a bacterial infection or a viral infection.

Antibiotics are heavily abused. It's those people who are causing antibiotic resistance. They're the problem. Did you know that antibiotics kill not only the bacteria that make us sick, but also the bacteria that makes us healthy? How do you know that the antibiotics that you took for your toothache didn't kill helpful bacteria in your bowel which made it vulnerable to a bacterial infection? Often it's about balance, and when you use those drugs, your system goes into a bacterial imbalance.

In any case, since you clearly need more antibiotics than people like me, who rely on good diet, exercise, and hygiene to stay healthy, perhaps you ought to volunteer yourself as one of the 40 million to be exterminated.

In any case, just so you know, there are alternatives to living in metropolises. There are also rural areas. If you think that there are too many people where you live, go find somewhere else to live.


RE: "We don't care"
By Kurz on 4/2/2011 10:59:55 AM , Rating: 2
People are still held accountable for their actions by getting wasted and driving. If they kill someone while being intoxicated they should be punished as such.

Antibiotics effect more than yourself, they effect society at large if they were taken incorrectly. Bacteria has the amazing ability to adapt to whatever situation they are placed in. Eventually we'll have these super bugs (we already do) that no one can treat or it'll be very diffcult to.

I can't think of any other drug I would restrict. You can snort coke, it doesnt bother me. Though your actions under the substance is still your fault.


RE: "We don't care"
By The Raven on 4/4/2011 10:07:06 AM , Rating: 2
I still don't get you, because if a drunk driver crashes into you, he kills you and himself. How is that different than the guy who takes ABs and kills you and himself?

I know you might be looking at the bigger picture where many people are killed by the superbugs, but for that one person or family that the drunk kills it is no different.

Still, I would rather have the Abs distributed in a relatively professional manner than just having people trading them on the street with incorrect instructions for use. That will get us to the superbugs faster than the current state of affairs. In theory, it only takes one moron to get an epidemic started.


RE: "We don't care"
By Kurz on 4/4/2011 1:57:17 PM , Rating: 2
I think you misunderstood me... I am not saying Anti-biotics are going to be illegal to take... I am saying that it should be a controlled substance, while all other drugs should be legalized to take with or without doctor recommendation.

If I bust my foot I should be able to go CVS and pick up an Opiate pain killer.

Though you are blaming the drug and not the individual.
I hold the individual accountable for their own actions.

However, I hold the exception for Anti-biotics because even now Bacteria are becoming resistant to our best efforts.


RE: "We don't care"
By Samus on 4/4/2011 4:02:45 PM , Rating: 2
I smashed head-on into a concrete wall in my SVT Focus auto-x'ing and yes, I had a 4-point harness, but it still felt like a cloud colliding with a pillow . The door opened, I got out. The car was completely totalled. In retrospect, well worth it.

Thank you, governing bodies of the world, for pressuring automotive manufactures to make safer cars. I've been in a similar accident in a 80's Fox-body Mustang, and lets just say I've had a limp since the dash smashed my knee. The irony being the hood was 16" longer than the Focus, and the Mustang actually weighed less.


RE: "We don't care"
By Kurz on 4/5/2011 9:57:34 AM , Rating: 2
Sad... Last time I checked 4-point harnesses were not stock.


RE: "We don't care"
By The Raven on 4/6/2011 10:15:33 AM , Rating: 2
I hear you now. Though if I were to buy ABs from someone in that case I would still want to do it on the black market and just get advice from my doctor friend instead of having to put down a copay and miss work, etc. You could make it illegal to do such just as long as you don't hold the doc liable. I would break that law (if I wanted ABs).

But I did not misunderstand you... you just said it completely wrong.
quote:
Legalization of all drugs (besides Antibiotics) is the only sane solution.

But we all do that sometimes. Its all good now.


RE: "We don't care"
By drycrust3 on 4/1/2011 2:38:48 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Right...because that has worked very well in preventing people from using them in the past (banning alcohol) and continues working nowadays (banning drugs).

The sad fact is too many people accept road deaths as inevitable, that is the tragedy: they shouldn't happen.
Everyone on this website is scientifically minded. Death is not "an accident", it is a statistical probability related to the quality of driving, and that is related to the tolerances drivers are allowed. If you have loose tolerances, then statistics tells you you will have more deaths than if you have tight tolerances.
There are several important indicators as to the quality of driving: 1) Collisions; 2) Injuries; and 3) Deaths. Each of those is an indicator of driving quality. The easiest one to measure is deaths.
The fact that America achieved its lowest death toll since 1949 tells us the drivers now are better than at any other time in the last 60 years.
Because hallucinogenic drugs and alcohol affect a driver's brain, they affect their ability to drive, thus they make the driver drive with more tolerance than normal, which lowers the quality of their driving, which means there is an increased probability of a death.
As much as you think policing these is stupid, the fact is people are alive today because the policing those factors saves lives, and policing them will save more lives.
If you want to save more lives, then people weaving in their lanes, driving even a fraction over the posted speed limit, or driving too close to the car in front should also be stopped and ticketed.


RE: "We don't care"
By Gzus666 on 4/1/2011 2:55:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The fact that America achieved its lowest death toll since 1949 tells us the drivers now are better than at any other time in the last 60 years.


Whoa there scoots, let's take another second to think about this. Correlation does not equal causation. The more likely cause of less deaths is higher safety as many have stated. People are clearly not better drivers, they are terrible in fact just as they have always been. It clearly says less deaths, not less accidents. On top of that, many active accident prevention systems are making their way into cars. When we take the idiots out of the equation, the problem will go away.

The worse driver you are, the more unsafe vehicle you should have to drive, that would clear out the morons.


RE: "We don't care"
By drycrust3 on 4/1/2011 5:36:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
People are clearly not better drivers, they are terrible

quote:
The more likely cause of less deaths is higher safety

The problem with your arguments is you don't want to change a driver's driving habits. Poor driving isn't because people are stupid and can't learn, it is because they have been allowed to drive with poor discipline. One easy way to help people with poor driving discipline improve is to punish them.
My argument was, and still is, that when we allow people to drive with poor discipline that means we give them a wide range of tolerance, thus we get a poor quality of driving. The consequence of that is more crashes, more injuries, and more deaths than if we required everyone to drive within a narrow tolerance.
An Australian study showed that the chances of being involved in a fatal crash doubled with every 10km/hr increase above 50 km/hr.
Part of the narrow tolerance is requiring cars to be safer, part of it is designing better roads, part of it is better street lighting, part of it is requiring people to pay for petrol first, part of it is smaller engined and lighter cars, etc. All of those contribute to better safer roads, but the most important factor is the driver.
Go to a place where there is a well known speed camera and you will see everyone ... Ok, when I say "everyone" I mean 99% or better ... driving at the speed limit. When 99% or better of drivers drive without going more than a little bit over the posted speed limit, it shows they have responded to discipline. Also, they are driving within a narrow tolerance, which means the quality of driving has improved, which will mean there are less crashes, less injuries, and less deaths than would otherwise be the case.
It is also proof that your argument assumes people are stupid and can't learn, but the well known red light cameras and well known speed cameras prove people are just undisciplined and have acquired bad habits, and that people can change if given sufficient motivation.


RE: "We don't care"
By Gzus666 on 4/1/2011 11:05:51 PM , Rating: 2
You won't change people's driving habits. Believe it or not, a large sum of people are really just dumb as hell. The average IQ in America is 101 last I checked. There are tons below that obviously.

quote:
An Australian study showed that the chances of being involved in a fatal crash doubled with every 10km/hr increase above 50 km/hr.


Once again, correlation does not equal causation, how are you not getting this? Do they not teach logic in any school? Studies like that are flawed because most people who get into wrecks speed and drive unsafe. Speeding is not the major problem, you can go as fast as you want as long as you give yourself proper distance to stop and don't swerve all over. If speed was the issue, the Autobahn would be littered with wrecks.

quote:
Part of the narrow tolerance is requiring cars to be safer, part of it is designing better roads, part of it is better street lighting, part of it is requiring people to pay for petrol first, part of it is smaller engined and lighter cars, etc. All of those contribute to better safer roads, but the most important factor is the driver.


Where are you getting this garbage? You are just babbling and not going anywhere with this. The issue is people are bad drivers cause they think it is boring. Talk to any bad driver and that is what they tell you. They made cars safer so we could coddle the idiots and try to save the people who are bystanders.

Every near wreck I have is with someone not using a signal, swerving in and out of traffic, slamming their brakes for no reason and driving under the speed limit. In fact on my way home from work today, I had someone swerve into my lane with no signal 3 times within about 300 feet. No speeding involved, just stupidity. The other one was some jackass going 55 in a 70 and then everyone swerves around them to go the speed limit.

The real fix is taking the driver out and replacing them with a computer. That will be the day we no longer have to deal with wrecks.


RE: "We don't care"
By rdeegvainl on 4/2/2011 1:43:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The issue is people are bad drivers cause they think it is boring. Talk to any bad driver and that is what they tell you.

I will quote you on this one, correlation does not equal causation, and to one up you on this, he cited a study, with research, and you cited... nothing. Those drivers that are bad because they are "bored" obviously do not have a respect for driving, as it is supposed to be about quickly getting to a destination, which implies safety by default, as accidents stop you from getting to your destination. The roads are not a race track, and as such are not about alleviating your boredom.

quote:
Every near wreck I have is with someone not using a signal, swerving in and out of traffic, slamming their brakes for no reason and driving under the speed limit.

Take a look at it from the other perspective, every near accident has been because of
1) swerving,
2)someone not keeping a safe distance or paying attention to drivers in front of them
3) drivers not respecting the speed limit as what it is, the MAXIMUM speed, not the minimum.

quote:
The other one was some jackass going 55 in a 70 and then everyone swerves around them to go the speed limit.

I'm going to assume this was a highway because of the high speed limit, and unless the posted minimum speed limit is over 55, the slower driver is within his rights. The problem here is the people swerving to pass. How about they pay attention to the road conditions ahead of them, so they know that they need to pass before they are on someones ass.

quote:
The real fix is taking the driver out and replacing them with a computer.

Completely agree here.

Again people, posted speed limits are the MAXIMUM allowed speed, not the minimum.


RE: "We don't care"
By lyeoh on 4/3/2011 2:11:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The average IQ in America is 101 last I checked. There are tons below that obviously.


That should not be too surprising given that IQ tests are made so that 100 = median score. While median is not average, the tests are designed so that most people end up a certain distance from 100.

A better indication of intelligence and ignorance is the fact that George W Bush got re-elected :).


RE: "We don't care"
By BZDTemp on 4/3/2011 10:41:58 AM , Rating: 2
If you really want people to drive better then replace the steering wheel airbag with a visible spike.

Many people drive to a certain perceived level of danger/comfort level. This is why people in big cars tend to drive faster so what is needed is to make people feel less safe even though cars are getting safer. It's the same thing with crash helmets and motor cycles which is why the crash helmet has less of a positive effect in the statistics than you would think.

The danger effect is also seen in the traffic death statistics when you look at the effect of snow and ice on the roads. When it's clearly visible to people that driving is hazardous due to slippery roads there is actually fever accidents per driven mile even though it should be more logical the effect was the opposite.

Of course taking away the airbag and putting in a spike is absurd but other things could be done. Imagine a car where the gas pedal gets heavy if the car is speeding or a radar in the car senses the safe distance to the car in front is too small.


RE: "We don't care"
By The Raven on 4/1/2011 5:54:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
As much as you think policing these is stupid, the fact is people are alive today because the policing those factors saves lives, and policing them will save more lives.

Yes we know policing these things saves lives. That is why we want SOME policing. But many people think that it has gone too far (especially when mandated).

The reason we think this is stupid is because as our forefathers before us, we subscribe to the motto, "Live free or die."

If preserving your life was your aim, you'd never get on the road. You'd just stay at home.


RE: "We don't care"
By drycrust3 on 4/1/2011 7:19:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"Live free or die."

I am sure that when they said "Live free" they didn't mean "Live at the expense of others" e.g. robbery, burglary, etc. Everytime there is a collision, injury, or fatality there is a cost incurred by society, just as there is when there is a murder, a robbery or a burglary.


RE: "We don't care"
By The Raven on 4/2/2011 12:40:48 AM , Rating: 2
No they did mean live free at the expense of others...and yourselves. Freedom is messy and a struggle but it is a hell of a lot better than anything else. Ask any elderly person who gets checked into a home. It is so nice to have all those people waiting on you to the extent even where you don't even have to wipe yourself. Right?

No they did mean live free at the expense of others and yourself.

Gleaning from the words of Samuel Adams...
The " animated contest of freedom" is better than "the tranquility of servitude." Where animated = chaotic, haphazard or difficult, and tranquility = simple, guaranteed or easy.
(He said it much better of course...http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/American_Independenc...

From your point of view, if you are binding yourself with laws, you are also binding others. Do you want to make that decision for them? May be they would rather risk their lives than give up the freedom that you don't care about.

Let's think of some other laws that would "definitely" be a great idea that increases meaningfulness of life and preserves said life:
a) Banning video games (clear waste of time, right?)
b) Banning candy (very little to no nutritional value, increases risk of diabetes, cavities)
c,d,f) Mandating alarm, OnStar, and Life Alert systems on your home and cars.
g) Banning 'the Bachelor'
h) Banning gangsta rap (it leads so many down the wrong path)
i) Banning free speech (do you know how many people have been killed because of free speech? It is dangerous to speak you mind sometimes.)

Of course, I am no anarchist. We make laws to minimize the chaos of freedom. But there is certainly a point where those laws do more harm than good. It seems like most people don't think we've gone far enough. But I believe these ridiculous safety and fuel efficiency laws illustrate so clearly that we have gone way too far.

The purpose of the US gov't should be a way for us to protect our freedom (from people like King George III and people like the burglars you mentioned). It's purpose is not to make sure that we live to 120 whether we want to or not, or ensure that our 401k will cover us during retirement.

I am a scientifically minded individual and I love seeing technological advances. I have personally embraced and use seatbelts, airbags, and anti-lock brakes. But I do not want to force people to use these technologies, and I certainly don't want to force people to buy implementations of them.

(And BTW, your example is inaccurate. You are assuming that people who get in accidents do it on purpose as the burglar does with his burgling?)


RE: "We don't care"
By drycrust3 on 4/2/2011 2:12:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The purpose of the US gov't should be a way for us to protect our freedom ....

Since I'm not American, I'll take it you mean the purpose of every good government, and I agree with that. The problem is that just as robbers and thieves don't just steal our property, but they steal our freedom as well, so people who disregard the road rules steal our freedom to travel.
Just as we accept that incarcerating people is the lesser evil between denying a person their right to freedom or the loss of freedom they imposed on society by their actions, so telling everyone to follow the same set of rules (or face the consequences) is the lesser of the two evils between that or having drivers each follow their own sets of rules.
quote:
No they did mean live free at the expense of others and yourself.

Well, they weren't just stealing what others had earned by their own hard work, they were stealing the futures of others as well. As such, I think they have little reason to complain if society limits their freedoms and their future, even if it has just a temporal effect.


RE: "We don't care"
By quiksilvr on 4/1/2011 1:36:09 PM , Rating: 2
Or just have a national Driver License and National License Plate. And have more stringent driving tests with a retaking of driving test every 5-10 years.

Some people suggest making 18 the driving license legal age, but I believe 16 is better because you are under parent supervision and not in college going nuts right away, driving a lot more than you would at home and increasing accident risks.

If they can just make these tests more efficient, more stringent (especially for newbies and over 65s) and have a repeated test every decade, we will see a drastic reduction in traffic accidents and maybe car manufacturers can have more freedom in their car designs.


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