April 21, 2005
of Judith Lee Stone, President
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety
on the release of the
2004 Projections for Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Fatalities and
April 21, 2005
Today's release of projected 2004 highway fatalities is bad news
for the American public. SUV rollover fatalities are up, motorcyclists
are dying in record numbers and truck deaths continue to grow.
It's time for action and American families are dying for solutions.
157 more people are estimated to have died on the nation's highways
in 2004, compared to 2003 (42,800 vs. 42,643.)
major efforts to increase seat belt use across the nation, the
number of people dying unrestrained in crashes in 2004 remains
the same as 2003 (more than half of those killed.)
deaths are up again, by 4.9% (an additional 220 deaths, totaling
4,666). SUV rollover deaths increased by 6.9%, and SUV driver
alcohol-related fatalities went up by 8.5%.
in large truck crashes also rose for the second year in a row,
to 5,169 (2003 fatalities were 4,986.) There was a large jump
(13%) in truck occupant deaths in multiple vehicle crashes.
Still, the great majority of truck-related deaths occur among
occupants of other-than-truck vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists.
fatalities continue to increase, with an additional 391 motorcyclists
projected to have died in 2004 over 2003. Nearly 4000 motorcycling
deaths occurred in 2004, a more than 85% increase since 1997.
Yet anti-helmet forces continue to push their motorcycle helmet
use law repeal agenda in state legislatures, with some success.
more people were killed in crashes involving young drivers ages
16-20: 8,566 in 2004 vs. 8,455 in 2003.
U.S. Department of Transportation disguises real-world facts by
hiding behind the fatality rate, which masks the number of fatalities.
The government wants us to believe that even though more family
members and friends are projected to have been killed in crashes
last year, things are really getting better because we spent more
time driving. The cold hard reality is that we are stuck in neutral.
Annual deaths due to motor vehicle crashes have fluctuated between
42,000 and 43,000 for a decade, and any reductions achieved are
slight. People are needlessly dying because commonsense laws languish
in state legislatures and the federal government is painfully
slow in issuing overdue regulations to make our cars safer. It
is time to reverse these trends.
is on the way. Congress is now considering legislation that will
address many of these safety problems, particularly rollover deaths
in SUVs, by directing federal government action. It is time for
the Administration to drop their objections and for Congress to
enact this legislation that will ensure safer cars and safer highways
for American families.
for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates), an alliance of consumer,
health and safety groups and insurance companies and agents working
together to make America's roads safer, is actively involved at
the federal and state levels to reduce the terrible tragedy of
crashes to families across the nation.
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© 2001 Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety
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