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Old May 8th, 2018
flylow7f39 flylow7f39 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Default Federal Stats Show Alcohol, Seatbelt Use More Relevant Than Speed

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US Department of Transportation statistics demonstrate driving sober, buckled up and in an SUV has more impact on safety than speed.

"A closer look at the new numbers show alcohol use proved a much more significant factor than exceeding the posted limit. One out of every five drivers killed in an accident had a blood alcohol reading of 0.08 or more, according to data released last week. The data also confirm that a change in the national vehicle fleet has had a big impact. The number of coupes and sedans on the road dropped from 139 million in 2008 to 134 million in 2016, while another 31 million trucks and SUVs were added to the road. With a 21 percent lower fatality rate, the shift toward trucks and SUVs helped push down the overall fatality rate.

Seatbelt use also remains a critical factor in federal statistics. In 56 percent of deadly nighttime crashes, and 41 percent of daytime incidents, the driver failed to buckle up, making it the single most important factor noted in the new statistics. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration decided for the first time to double-check whether seatbelt usage statistics were skewed by misreported data. The agency grabbed black box data to see whether self-reporting of seatbelt use after an accident matched up with reality (view report in 1mb PDF file).

"The electronic data recorder data confirm that crash databases have over-reported belt use for drivers and, consequently, would have exaggerated the fatality- and injury-reducing effectiveness of belts for drivers if it had been directly estimated with the belt use reported in the database, without any correction factor such as the one used by NHTSA," the agency's new study reported."
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