In case you missed it, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released its Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data for the year 2012. The latest statistics from the public health and safety agency showed a 3.3 percent increase in its accident fatalities, from 32,479 in 2011 to 33,561. This is the first time since 2005 wherein traffic fatalities saw a year-to-year increase, when there were 43,510 deaths.
Also, this latest data came after six consecutive years of significant decline in the number of accident deaths, with the 2011 totals being the lowest since 1949. The 33,561 deaths were close to the projected 34,080 motor vehicle crash deaths that the NHTSA initiallyprojected earlier this year. The data for the said initial projection can be found here.
Meanwhile, here are some of the important highlights from the latest FARS data of the NHTSA:
- Seventy-two percent of the deaths occurred during the first three months of 2012. At least 778 deaths were recorded from January to March that year. Of the said figure, more than a half of them were non-occupants (e.g. pedestrians, pedalcyclists) and motorcycle users. Incidentally, the first quarter of 2012 was the warmest on record, despite being winter months.
- In 2012, there were around 2,362,000 injuries. Said figure was a 6.5 percent increase from the previous year, which tallied 2,217,000 injuries.
- There were 30,800 fatal crashes in 2012 as compared to 29,867 the previous year. In terms of non-fatal crashes, an estimated 5,854,000 happened in 2012; up 5.2 percent from 2011 (5,308,000). Of the 2012 figures, around 1,634,000 resulted in injuries; up 6.8 percent from 2011 (1,530,000). The remaining non-fatal crashes were only property damage incidents. Combining all fatal and non-fatal crashes, 2012 saw a grand total of approximately 5,615,000.
- Significant increases in deaths were seen among various occupants and non-occupants in 2012. In fact, for three years now, pedestrian, motorcycle, and large truck occupants fatalities have been increasing, with 6.4 percent, 7.1 percent, and 8.9 percent upticks, respectively.
- Fatalities due to intoxicated driving soared by 4.6 percent, resulting in 10,322 deaths. However, fatalities as a result of distracted driving diminished a little, from 3,360 in 2011 to 3,328 the next year.
If these final FARS data are any indication, it means that all road users must do what it takes to prevent them from being included in the statistics. Expert lawyers, including a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, continue to remind every motorist in California to be extra cautious when heading out on the roads.