Archive for April 8th, 2024

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration releases statistics on traffic deaths

Excerpts from

More than 40,000 people were killed last year in traffic crashes, according to preliminary data released Monday, remaining above pre-pandemic levels but slightly down from their peak in 2021.

The new data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration adds to concerns that little is being done to address one of the most common causes of preventable deaths. Traffic deaths spiked in 2020 and again in 2021 and have since declined slightly. Still, they are up 25% since 2013, and the Governors Highway Safety Association found that pedestrian deaths reached a 40-year high in the United States in 2022.

The NHTSA said that “distracted driving,” an issue that has grown in urgency with the ubiquity of smartphones, resulted in 3,308 deaths and 289,310 injuries in 2022, and 3,522 deaths in 2021.

The agency released the data to coincide with the launch of an April campaign to spread awareness about distracted driving called “Put the Phone Away or Pay,” which hopes to scare people away from texting and driving, but which some advocates call an ineffective waste of resources. 

The campaign consists of new nationwide advertisements warning what can happen if people drive distracted, coupled with heightened law enforcement for distracted driving. The NHTSA plans to spend $5 million in national media advertisements for the campaign. 

Some road safety advocates aren’t convinced that these campaigns do anything to make  roads significantly safer, thinking instead they are more of a way for the NHTSA to shirk its own regulatory responsibilities while appeasing motorists. 

 A spokesperson for AAA said that while the group supports driver awareness campaigns, their efficacy is tough to measure. 

A senior research associate at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s Highway Safety Research Center thinks these awareness campaigns have virtually no effect. 

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New truck for Romeoville FD (more)

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Area fire apparatus on order – pumpers

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click to download; #FireTruck; #orders; #pumpers;

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