NHTSA Reports 1,314 North Carolina Traffic Deaths and 894 South Carolina Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths in 2009

September 9, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 33,808 US motor vehicle accident deaths in the US last year. This is the lowest number of traffic fatalities since 1950 and 9.7% less than the number of auto crash fatalities that occurred in 2008 when 37,423 people were killed.

The decline in traffic deaths was also reflected in North Carolina, which reported 1,314 traffic fatalities in 2009—compared to the 1,423 North Carolina motor vehicle crash fatalities in 2008—and in South Carolina, where there were 894 traffic deaths last year compared to the 921 South Carolina motor vehicle accident fatalities in 2008.

Other Current US Traffic Facts, from the NHTSA:
• After 11 straight years that have seen a rise in the number of motorcycle deaths, the yearly number of motorcycle accident fatalities went down from 5,312 deaths in 2008 to 4,462 motorcycle crash fatalities in 2009.

• There were 23,382 passenger vehicle deaths last year. This figure is down from 25,462 passenger vehicle fatalities in 2008.

• Large truck fatalities saw a drop from 682 truck accident deaths in 2008 to 503 truck crash fatalities last year.

• There were 4,092 US pedestrian deaths in 2009. This is down from 4,412 fatalities in 2008.

• Pedalcyclist fatalities dropped from 718 deaths the year before to 630 pedalcyclist fatalities in 2009.

• Drunk driver-related deaths dropped by 7.4% last year to 10,839 fatalities.

• About 2.22 million people were injured in motor vehicle accidents last year. Compare this to the 2.35 million traffic crash injuries in 2008. This is the 10th year in a row that the number of motor vehicle accident injuries has gone down.

Any decline in traffic crash deaths is good news. However, as NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said, over 30,000 people still died in motor vehicle collisions last year and 1/3rd of those deaths involved alcohol-impaired motorists. There is a lot more that needs to be done to bring down the traffic death and injury count down in this country.

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces Lowest Traffic Fatalities in Six Decades, NHTSA, September 9, 2010

Highlights of 2009 Motor Vehicle Crashes, NHTSA (PDF)

Related Web Resources:
North Carolina Department of Transportation

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety