U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
View Poll Results: Will there be more or fewer auto-related fataties in the 21st century compared to the 20th?
more 14 34.15%
fewer 27 65.85%
Voters: 41. You may not vote on this poll

Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-25-2013, 10:31 PM
 
642 posts, read 960,689 times
Reputation: 505

Advertisements

I was curious to see how many people in the US have died in automobile accidents since they were introduced in our society, and while I already knew there were a lot, the numbers were pretty astounding:

List of motor vehicle deaths in U.S. by year - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1899-1909: 3,580
1910-1919: 60,618
1920-1929: 200,121
1930-1939: 325,549
1940-1949: 294,828
1950-1959: 357,802
1960-1969: 454,007
1970-1979: 498,356
1980-1989: 460,154
1990-1999: 415,336

2000-2009: 410,838
2010-2012: 134,386

1899-2012: 3,615,575

Do you think there will be more auto-realated deaths this century than in the 20th?

Is there anything that will significantly reduce the number of these fatalities?

I know that cars and roads are relatively safer than they used to be, but based on the numbers we're not off to such a great start in the 2000's.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-26-2013, 04:20 AM
 
642 posts, read 960,689 times
Reputation: 505
**edit**

the 2011 figures were listed twice in the chart I referenced and got double counted, so here are the updated figures:

1899-1909: 3,580
1910-1919: 60,618
1920-1929: 200,121
1930-1939: 325,549
1940-1949: 294,828
1950-1959: 357,802
1960-1969: 454,007
1970-1979: 498,356
1980-1989: 460,154
1990-1999: 415,336

2000-2009: 410,838
2010-2012: 102,019

1899-2012: 3,581,208
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-26-2013, 05:00 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,096,962 times
Reputation: 3117
Hmm... I guess it will depend on whether the decrease in VMT was due entirely to the recession or to modest societal/generational trends in driving.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-26-2013, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,759,792 times
Reputation: 1616
You would have to have a rapidly declining rate of fatalities per capita (around -20% per decade) if the population continues to grow by 27 million per decade, especially since there were quite a bit fewer fatalities from 1899 to 1929. The rate of fatalities per capita has been going down pretty fast in the last few decades though. They were shockingly high in the 1920s, around 40-50% higher than today and about those today's rates in the 1930s. I know cars weren't as safe then, but it's still pretty surprising considering I'm pretty sure people drove quite a bit less back then.

Some of the difference could be due to healthcare advances too, so that if someone is seriously injured they have a better change of surviving.

Changing road design, car design, healthcare, driving less (peak oil?) and tackling impaired driving could all help. By impaired driving, I don't just mean alcohol (and to a lesser degree drugs) but also driving with distractions like cell phones (or GPS), and when you're tired. With around 31% of deaths involving alcohol, 9% involving being distracted, 4% involving sleepiness, (not sure how many involving drugs). Stricter licensing and penalties for driving recklessly would probably help too.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-26-2013, 12:41 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
14,800 posts, read 17,705,729 times
Reputation: 9029
Quote:
Originally Posted by abqpsychlist View Post

Do you think there will be more auto-realated deaths this century than in the 20th?

Is there anything that will significantly reduce the number of these fatalities?

I know that cars and roads are relatively safer than they used to be, but based on the numbers we're not off to such a great start in the 2000's.
Drivers test need to be more difficult. Increase minimum speed limit on Freeways, by my house 94 max is 65, min is 40! should be 65, 50!

More punishment for those who impede the traffic flow, if you are on a freeway and traffic on the right is passing you, you deserve a ticket.

And lastly, more roundabouts.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-26-2013, 05:35 PM
 
642 posts, read 960,689 times
Reputation: 505
Quote:
Originally Posted by iNviNciBL3 View Post
Drivers test need to be more difficult. Increase minimum speed limit on Freeways, by my house 94 max is 65, min is 40! should be 65, 50!

More punishment for those who impede the traffic flow, if you are on a freeway and traffic on the right is passing you, you deserve a ticket.

And lastly, more roundabouts.
For some reason, roundabouts here are super costly, tho I don't think they necessarily need to be. And they confuse the heck out of people here, which can be a good and bad thing. Outside the US I've seen multi-lane ones work beautifully, but I don't even know how it worked, to be honest - seemed like some some sort of controlled chaos. I think they could potentially cause an increase in collisions, but at the same time cause a decrease in fatalities at some intersections.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-26-2013, 07:31 PM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,816,131 times
Reputation: 9769
Fewer per capita and fewer per vehicle mile traveled -- but we're going to have way more people and way more vehicle miles travelled, so a greater absolute number. Eventually it will start seriously dropping due to autonomous vehicles, though.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-26-2013, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Laurentia
5,593 posts, read 6,371,197 times
Reputation: 2387
Quote:
Originally Posted by abqpsychlist View Post
For some reason, roundabouts here are super costly, tho I don't think they necessarily need to be.
One possible explanation is that most American roundabouts are built in suburban or urban settings, where it is more costly to build anything. I'm sure a roundabout in a rural area would cost a lot less, but there are very few of those in the States.

Quote:
And they confuse the heck out of people here, which can be a good and bad thing. Outside the US I've seen multi-lane ones work beautifully, but I don't even know how it worked, to be honest - seemed like some some sort of controlled chaos. I think they could potentially cause an increase in collisions, but at the same time cause a decrease in fatalities at some intersections.
I'm a big fan of roundabouts, so I seek them out whenever I go on a road trip. I can't speak for all roundabouts, but in all of the American places I've been, which include some less progressive areas, the drivers have no problem with either one-lane or two-lane roundabouts*. Out of dozens of encounters, only once have I seen a driver who failed to yield. American roundabouts feature lane markings guiding you to your exit point, yield signs, yield markings on the pavement, and one-way signs directing you which way to go when you enter the roundabout. All of this coupled with the motorist's instinct to merge when it's clear and not merge when it's not clear make American roundabouts much less chaotic than one would expect.

Also, studies have shown that typically roundabouts reduce collisions as well as fatalities in the U.S. just like they do in the rest of the world, because there are not as many points where traffic flows conflict. Not only are they safer, but they also make traffic flow more efficient due to not being stopped at a red light for half the time. Another bonus is that by minimizing stopping you also maximize fuel efficiency.

What's not to like?

*I've only seen roundabouts with one or two lanes in North America. While I can only assume that a three-lane roundabout would have similar results, I've never seen one in person, and a three-laner probably doesn't even exist in the U.S.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abqpsychlist View Post
I was curious to see how many people in the US have died in automobile accidents since they were introduced in our society, and while I already knew there were a lot, the numbers were pretty astounding
Every fatality is a small tragedy, but considering how many millions of people drive automobiles every day and how many miles Americans log on the highways each year, those numbers aren't bad at all.

Quote:
Do you think there will be more auto-realated deaths this century than in the 20th?

Is there anything that will significantly reduce the number of these fatalities?

I know that cars and roads are relatively safer than they used to be, but based on the numbers we're not off to such a great start in the 2000's.
There is a much greater population in the 21st century than there was in the 20th, so even if fatality rates stay the same or decrease slightly the raw numbers will be higher. Fatality rates have plummeted over the past 100 years, and the fact that the raw numbers are lower for each decade despite a rapidly increasing population is remarkable.

From 1900 to 2000 we went from dirt roads and no understanding of automobile safety to the Interstate Highway System and a great deal of understanding about auto safety. It is unlikely that there will be a quantum leap of that magnitude in the 21st century, so the fatality rate probably will not plummet nearly as much as it did in the 20th century. However, fatality rates can go down if there are more safety features in cars and if Americans improve their driving skills. The following infrastructure improvements can also have an impact in my view:

1. More freeways and highways. It might sound corny but rural freeways are the safest roads around, by virtue of smoother traffic flow, near-elimination of conflict points, being a divided highway, and better visibility of hazards ahead. New freeways and divided highways should improve safety over other types of roads and get people where they're going quicker.

2. More roundabouts, as in making them as common as traffic signals are today. Roundabouts have much fewer conflict points than a traditional intersection and when collisions do occur speeds are quite low. Again, they also improve traffic flow in most cases, so there's a double bonus here.

3. More controlled access for arterial roads. A typical suburban arterial road in the U.S. features about a dozen business and residential driveways per mile. Cars attempting to come out of these driveways and merge with the 45 mph traffic create a multitude of conflict points at high speed differentials. Moving most of the driveway accesses off of the main road should reduce traffic conflicts and collisions.

4. More segregated bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Pedestrian-motorist collisions are a piece of the puzzle, and by moving many pedestrians onto separate facilities the chances of a car hitting them will be remote. Ditto for bicycle-motorist collisions. Providing a bicycling infrastructure will also induce some people to opt for a bicycle for their trip instead of a car. Less people on the road translates into less fatalities and less congestion to boot.

All of this is much easier said than done, and in most cases there isn't space for these improvements, existing needs prohibit implementation, or it's simply not worth the cost. In many urban areas expanding roads to this degree and creating bike paths wouldn't leave much space left for buildings. There's also the matter of not being enough space in urban areas to move driveways off of main roads. However, I believe that these points are a recipe for reducing the number of collisions, and in some cases they should be implemented.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-26-2013, 11:19 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,372 posts, read 21,218,356 times
Reputation: 24197
Every fatality is a small tragedy? Those are not bad numbers?

The truest, greatest tragedies are those that emerge from an accident half-dead, permanently disabled, brain dead, paraplegics, quadriplegics.

Anyone have the statistics on that?

I foresee a lot less fatalities in the 21st century due to the welcomed growth of light rail systems in this country, more enlightened value systems, and I salute the police for the reductions as well.

Let me expound on "I salute the police"! As the police are increasingly becoming dependent on traffic fines for their survival, that will hopefully drive X percentage of people to throw up their hands, after the last stiff fine being paid, and saying: "That's it!!! I've had it!!! I don't care how inconvenient it may be, I'm getting a bus/rail pass!"
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-26-2013, 11:47 PM
 
195 posts, read 235,315 times
Reputation: 247
Total fatalities will most likely increase because of the growing population and the growing number of cars on the road. However fatalities as a percentage of the population will most likely continue to decrease thanks to safety improvements.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top