Improved safety is the foremost goal of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and highway fatalities accounted for 94% of all transportation fatalities in 2009. (BTS, National Transportation Statistics) Traffic fatalities were the leading cause of death in persons age 15-39 in 2009, causing 15% of those deaths. (CDC) The trend of highway fatalities has been downward in recent years, and the number of deaths in 2010 is the lowest since 1949. (NHTSA)
|Highway Fatalities||2011 Q1||2012 Q1|
|Number of Highway-Related Deaths||6,720||7,630|
|Percent change from same quarter previous year||-0.1||13.5|
NOTES: Total highway fatalities includes vehicles at rail crossings and transit vehicles operating over the road.
Data for the most recent year that does not have an annual FARS dataset (2011) are estimated by NHTSA and not final.
SOURCES: 1998-2010 — U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Fatality Analysis Reporting System, available at http://www.nhtsa.gov/FARS, as of April 2012. 2011-12 — U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities for the First Quarter (JanuaryMarch) of 2012," July 2012.