Randall Poole Viewpoint: Traffic Safety Hype

The good news is that fatalities declined in 2017 and declined a bit more in the first six months of 2018. Since vehicle miles of travel have grown, fatalities rates — fatalities per billion miles — have declined even more.

The bad news, according to the Governor’s report, is that pedestrian fatalities are increasing. But that’s not clear from the NHTSA data, which says that in 2017 pedestrian fatalities declined by 1.7 percent compared with 1.4 percent of vehicle occupants. Bicycle fatalities fell by 8.1 percent; the only growth was in occupants of heavy trucks, which grew by 16 percent. (Occupants of light vehicles hit by heavy trucks also experienced an 8.8 percent increase in fatalities.) NHTSA has not posted pedestrian data for 2018, but the Governor’s association estimates the numbers increased by 3 percent.