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05 September 2018

Concern at poor US road safety

First publishedon www.WorldHighways.com

Concern is being expressed in the US by the National Safety Council (NSC), which believes the country’s road safety is making no progress. According to the NSC, the current trends suggest that the US will see no reductions in road deaths for the third consecutive year.

Its preliminary estimates suggest that the US will again have a road fatality rate of around 40,000 for 2018. There were around 18,720 road fatalities for the first six months of 2018, according to the NSC’s data, compared with around 18,770 for the first six months of 2017. Serious injuries caused by road crashes in the first six months of the year dropped by 1% to 2.1 million for 2018 when compared with the same period in 2017.

Insufficient seatbelt use and drinking and driving continue to be major factors in road deaths in the US. However there is growing concern in some states where cannabis use has been legalised over the increase in numbers of drivers involved in crashes who show signs of the drug in their system.

Some states have seen improvements in road safety for the first six months of 2018, notably Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan and New York, with reductions in road deaths of 10% or more. However some states have seen increases in road deaths in the first six months of 2018, with California and Texas both seeing a 3% increase, Florida a 7% increase and Oregon, a 9% increase. Overall, road safety varies widely from state to state and some, such as Florida and Montana, have poor records with issues such as speeding and DUI both as recognisable problems.

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