Friday, February 24, 2017

Top Three Killers

Drivers in cars, trucks, minivans and SUVs put a record 3.22 trillion miles on the nation's roads last year, up 2.8 percent from 3.1 trillion miles in 2015.

It's the fifth consecutive year of increased miles driven on public roads and highways, reflecting a strengthening economy, but it also "underscores the demands facing American's roads and bridges," according to a statement from the Federal Highway Administration, "and reaffirms calls for greater investment in surface transportation infrastructure." ....

Another downside to more traffic is more crashes. The National Safety Council says traffic fatalities increased 6 percent last year and topped 40,000 for the first time since 2007, but only part of that sharp increase can be attributed to the less than 3 percent growth in vehicle miles traveled. What's even more troubling is that the rate of fatal crashes is increasing at a time when vehicles mechanically are becoming safer. Experts cite speed, distracted driving, and alcohol as the top three killers on the road.

-- David Schaper of National Public Radio, "Record Number Of Miles Driven In U.S. Last Year" (21 February 2017)

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