U.S. Fatalities From Motor Vehicle Crashes in 2006 Reach a Five-Year Low
According to the preview assessment, motor vehicle traffic fatalities for passenger car occupants, light-truck occupants, pedestrians and pedalcyclists declined from 43,510 in 2005 to 42,642 in 2006, the lowest level in five years. The decline is the largest both in number of deaths and percentage since 1992.
However, motorcycle rider fatalities continued a nine-year rise to 4,810 in 2006. Motorcycle rider fatalities now account for 11 percent of total fatalities, and exceed pedestrian fatalities for the first time since NHTSA began collecting motor vehicle crash fatality data in 1975.
The report notes that passenger car fatalities have dropped for the fourth year in a row. The decline in light-truck occupant fatalities was the first since 1992.
Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia showed fewer overall fatalities in 2006 than in 2005. Missouri achieved the largest decline in fatalities at 13 percent.
Fatalities in alcohol-related crashes in 2006 did not change significantly from 2005.
The Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Fatality Rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (MVT) also dropped to 1.42, the lowest rate recorded by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
Another significant finding reveals that the estimate of the number of persons injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes has declined for the seventh year in a row. In 2006, nearly 2.6 million people were injured compared to 2.7 million in 2005. Also, the number of people injured declined in all categories except for motorcycle riders.
NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) is a census of all crashes of motor vehicles traveling on public roadways in which a person died within 30 days of the crash.
Additional details from the “2006 Annual Assessment of Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Fatalities and Injuries” report will be available later this year.