Highway deaths still on the rise

News ARTBA April 29, 2003
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An estimated 42,850 people died in 2002 on the nation's highways, up 1

An estimated 42,850 people died in 2002 on the nation's highways, up 1.7% from 42,116 in 2001, according to preliminary data released April 23 by the U.S. DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).


The number of fatal crashes increased 1.5% to 38,356 in 2002. The number of fatalities for young drivers between the ages of 16 to 20 jumped 5.9% from 3,529 deaths to 3,738. NHTSA estimates that highway crashes cost society $230.6 billion a year, about $820 per person.


It is estimated that outdated alignments and poor roadway conditions were a factor in nearly one-third, or 14,000, deaths in 2001. The American Road & Transportation Builders Association is working with the FHWA and other safety partners on the "Roadway Work Zone Safety Campaign for New Drivers," aimed at helping new drivers safely navigate through construction work zone areas.


NHTSA will release the full report on highway fatalities, including the number of 2002 work-zone fatalities, in August.


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