Sunday, December 14, 2008

Higher Gas Prices = Historic Reduction in Driving = 3,392 Lives Saved So Far in 2008 vs. Last Year

WASHINGTONFederal safety officials say auto fatalities dropped almost 10% in 2008 through October, a trend overlapping with a historic cutback in driving (see chart above) as well as advancements in safety measures such as technology that prevents rollovers.

If the trend holds up for the year's last two months, highway deaths could reach their lowest level in the 42 years since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began keeping records.

NHTSA said Thursday there were 31,110 auto fatalities the first 10 months of 2008. That's a 9.8% decline over the same period in 2007, when there were 34,502 fatalities.

According to Acting NHTSA Administrator David Kelly, "When you talk about reductions in traffic fatalities in one year you are usually talking about hundreds in a good year. The fact that deaths are down 3,000 so far this year is staggering."

HT: Ben Cunningham


At 12/14/2008 2:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's great!

But if people are driving fewer miles and buying fewer gallons of gas and paying lower unit prices for said gas, won't that lead to greater spending in other areas, and upward price pressure on other items?

At 12/14/2008 3:50 AM, Blogger John Thacker said...

One of the actual DOT press releases points out that not only miles driven decreased, but "the fatality rate per 100 million vehicles miles traveled for the first nine months of 2008 is 1.28, compared to 1.37 for 2007." So the rate decreased as well.

At 12/14/2008 3:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


What's the variance in the fatality rates? Moving from 1.39 to 1.28 is less than a ten percent change. It's quite possibly statistically insignificant.

At 12/14/2008 5:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does this indicate congestion is a major driver of road deaths?

At 12/14/2008 10:52 AM, Blogger Ironman said...

Let's also consider what the data is telling us about *who* is driving less.

If we assume that those who most reduced their miles driven are those who were least able to afford gasoline at the high prices they reached, and knowing that low-income teens are the most negatively affected group in economy of 2008, doesn't this outcome completely validate insurance companies using both credit scores and age to set their premiums?

At 12/14/2008 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oil is telling us how bad the economy is. No need to drive if you have no job.

If you drive a Yugo type car over 45 MPH and risk hitting another car. You very well might wind up dead.

Democrat Voters kill people and jobs. That is what they do.

So buy into Global Warming from people who fly private jets and risk killing yourself on the HWY of do goodism.

One for the Hippies.
French president spikes report finding 'not much future' in electric cars...
Politically inconvenient truth about electric cars.
the traditional combustion engine powered by petrol, diesel, ethanol or new biofuels still offers the most realistic prospect of developing cleaner vehicles. Carbon emissions and fuel consumption could be cut by 30-40 per cent simply by improving the performance and efficiency of traditional engines.

Sacramento CA republic of.


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