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National Safety Council: Lowest death rate per mile traveled on record in 2014

Itasca, IL, Feb. 24, 2015 –The National Safety Council announced its preliminary estimate that approximately 35,400 motor vehicle fatalities occurred in 2014. The estimated annual mileage death rate dropped to 1.18 deaths per 100 million miles traveled, matching the lowest NSC preliminary estimate on record.

The 2014 estimate is an increase of fewer than 50 deaths from 2013. Crash injuries requiring medical attention are estimated to be about 4.3 million, unchanged from 2013. The nearly stable number of motor vehicle deaths in the United States was achieved during a period of economic expansion with annual unemployment rates falling 16 percent and estimated mileage on our roads increasing 1.4 percent.

“Every day, almost 100 people die in completely preventable crashes,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, NSC president and CEO. “We all need to make safer choices when it comes to speeding, impairment and distraction behind the wheel – lives depend on it.”

NSC recommends the following safety tips:

  • Buckle up every trip – even when traveling short distances.
  • Refrain from all electronic device use – including hands-free – behind the wheel.
  • Secure children in size-appropriate restraints.
  • Do not drink and drive; impairment begins with the first drink. If you drink, designate a sober driver or take alternate transportation.
  • Plan ahead and drive defensively, especially during bad weather.
  • Never drive when tired – get plenty of sleep before your trip and plan regular stops.

In addition to devastating human loss, car crashes present a significant national cost in lost wages and productivity, medical expenses, administrative expenses, employer costs and property damage. The estimated cost of motor vehicle deaths, injuries and property damage in 2014 was $288.9 billion, less than a half a percent increase from 2013.

Research Detail

NSC Motor Vehicle Fatality Reporting System

Each month, motor vehicle fatality data is supplied to the National Safety Council by traffic authorities in 50 states and the District of Columbia. This data is used to make current year estimates based on the latest final count from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). NSC counts total motor vehicle-related fatalities that occur within a year of the crash, consistent with data compiled from death certificates by the NCHS, and includes those occurring on public roadways and private property. This differs from the methods used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA method counts traffic fatalities that occur within 30 days of a crash and only those occurring on public roadways.

About the National Safety Council

Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council, nsc.org, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety, prescription drug overdoses and Safe Communities. Safety+Health magazine, the Council’s flagship publication, is a leading source of occupational safety and health information.

Contact: Kathy Lane
NSC Communications Director
(630) 775-2307
kathy.lane@nsc.org

​Contact the Media Team

(630) 775-2307
media@nsc.org

National Safety Council Mission

The National Safety Council eliminates preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy.

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