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The National Safety Council eliminates preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Donate to our cause.
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Injury Facts is the complete Safety-statistic source for more than 90 years. At the National Safety Council, we're often asked:
A preventable incident is one in which the driver failed to do everything that reasonably could have been done to avoid a collision, according to the Guide to Determine Motor Vehicle Accident Preventability, published by NSC.
In other words, when a driver commits errors and/or fails to react reasonably to the errors of others, the Council considers an incident to be preventable. When a driver commits no errors and reacts reasonably to the errors of others, the Council considers the incident to be non-preventable.
Safety officials further define preventability within the context of defensive driving. Defensive driving is "driving to save lives, time and money in spite of the conditions around us and the actions of others."
As shown on page 25 of Injury Facts 2017, several unintentional-injury events have seasonal patterns. Drowning deaths show a strong seasonal pattern: high in the summer, low in winter. Deaths from fires and flames show an equally strong but opposite seasonal pattern: low in summer, high in winter. Motor-vehicle crash deaths also have a pattern, which can be seen on page 129 of Injury Facts 2017.
Injury Facts compares four modes of transportation: scheduled airlines, railroad passenger trains (including Amtrak and commutation), buses and light-duty vehicles, like passenger cars, light trucks, vans and sports utility vehicles regardless of wheelbase.
In general, buses, trains and airlines have much lower death rates than light duty vehicles when the risk is expressed as passenger deaths per passenger mile of travel. Light duty vehicle drivers are considered passengers but operators and crew of planes, trains and buses are not.
In 2013, the passenger death rate in light duty vehicles was 0.46 per 100 million passenger-miles. The rates for buses, trains and airlines were 0.04, 0.02, and 0.0, respectively. See page 156 in
Injury Facts 2017 for more details.
The National Safety Council makes estimates of the number of traffic fatalities that could occur over selected holiday periods. The estimates are not meant to scare people into staying off the roads, but rather to inform them of the risks of holiday travel. The number of holiday related motor-vehicle deaths from 2011 through 2015 is available in Injury Facts.
One to two weeks before the holiday period begins, NSC will issue estimates of the number of traffic fatalities that could occur over the following holidays:
Available in print or as a download, and coming soon, Injury Facts web version.
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