NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Traffic Fatalities Increased Last Year

March 30, 2001

Due to an increase in motorcycle deaths, traffic deaths in the U.S. rose last year, according to preliminary statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That was the first increase since 1996.

  • Last year, 41,800 people died in crashes -- 189 more than in 1999.
  • Since 1997, motorcycle fatalities have risen 27 percent -- mainly among riders 35 and older -- to 2,680, 208 more than in 1999.
  • There were 1.6 deaths per million miles traveled -- compared to 1.5 in 1999 and 3.3 in 1977.
  • The number of people who died in alcohol-related crashes -- which account for about 38 percent of all traffic fatalities -- was 16,068 in 2000.

Fatalities involving large truck crashes dropped to 5,307 last year. But deaths among drivers ages 16 to 20 increased, as did deaths to occupants of sports utility vehicles.

The report found that of those killed in crashes, 61 percent were not wearing seat belts.

Exact tallies will be released in July.

Source: Scott Bowles, "Traffic Fatalities Edge Back Up; Biker Deaths Cited," USA Today, March 30, 2001.


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