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Where Are You Going

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SUBJECT 1: Societal And Personal Losses From Traffic Crashes (quantified)

The motor vehicle has become central to the way of life and the way of business in the United States. This invention has led to more productivity, greater mobility, higher efficiency and effectiveness over the same time a century ago. However, all of these benefits have come at a great cost. Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for all people from 6 to 33 years old and account for more than 90% of all transportation related fatalities1. The economic cost of motor vehicle crashes alone is estimated at more than $150.5 billion annually2.

The majority of persons killed or injured in traffic crashes were drivers (64%), followed by passengers (32%), pedestrians (3%) and cyclists (2%)3. 96% of the 12 million vehicles involved in motor vehicle crashes in 1995 were passenger cars or light trucks.4 Slightly more than half of fatal collisions occurred on roads with posted speed limits of 55 mph or more while only 21% of property damage crashes occurred on these roads.5 Collisions on city streets are largely at intersections because of lane changing, running or jumping lights, etc., while collisions on freeways are mainly caused by tailgating or following too closely.

How many people die on our roadways annually?

Approximately 41,000+.

In 1999, 41,611 people died on our roadways. That is an average of approximately 114 persons being killed on our roadways every day of the year. One person dies on our roads every 13 minutes. This means that while you are reading this program, 18 people will have died on the roadways in the United States6.

In 2000, Florida's share of the carnage on our roads resulted in 2,999 lives being lost. This works out to eight per day or one every three hours7.

How many people are injured on our roadways annually?

The number of injuries that occur on our roadways is phenomenal. In 1999, 3,236,000 were injured on the roadways of the United States. This works out to 8,865 injuries caused by motor vehicle collisions per day or 369 per hour or six per minute or one every ten seconds. In the four hours that you are reading this program, 1477 persons will be injured on the roads of the United States8.

In Florida in 2000, there were 246,541 traffic collision related injuries. This works out to 675 per day or 28 per hour or approximately one every two minutes and 13 seconds9.

Our personal mobility and business opportunities are greatly enhanced by the motor vehicle. However, there is no such thing as a free lunch. We pay for these advantages with our lives, property and the increasing costs in all categories of our existence for the motor vehicle.


NHTSA, Traffic Safety Overview, 1995, Washington, D.C., number 3, 4, 5.NHTSA, Traffic Safety Overview, 1999, Washington, DC, number 1, 2, 6, 8.DHSMV, Traffic Crash Facts, 2000, Tallahassee, Florida, number 7, 9.




SUBJECT 2: Contribution Of DUI And Other Hazardous Acts

As if driving is not dangerous enough, there is a significant portion of our driving population that drives under the influence of alcohol and other drugs. Driving requires a high degree of awareness of the driving environment and consists of a decision making process that is used hundreds of times per mile of travel. When you introduce alcohol and other drugs into this decision making process, the process is slowed down, sometimes fatally. It is or at least should be intuitively obvious that you are not going to proceed safely in a fast paced decision making process with your ability to make those decisions slowed down.

Alcohol-related crashes cost society $45 billion anually, yet this conservative estimate does not include pain, suffering and lost quality of life. The indirect costs raise the alcohol-related crash figure to a staggering $116 billion in 19931.

What was the average cost for each injured survivor of an alcohol-related crash?

Approximately $67,000, including $6,000 in health care costs and $13,000 in lost productivity2.

What impact does alcohol and other drugs have on traffic collisions?

In 1999, there were 15,786 fatalities in alcohol related crashes. This is a 6% decrease compared to 1996, and it represents an average of one alcohol-related fatality every 33 minutes. NHTSA estimates that alcohol was involved in 38% of fatal crashes and in 7% of all crashes in 1999. NHTSA also estimated that 30.1% of all traffic fatalities occurred in crashes in which at least one driver or non-occupant had a blood alcohol concentration of .10 grams per deciliter or greater3.

Approximately 1.4 million drivers were arrested in 1998 for driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs. This is an arrest rate of one in every 132 licensed drivers in the United States. About three in every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol related crash at some time or another in their life4.

In Florida, in 2000, there were 23,578 alcohol-related crashes, which injured 19,775 people and killed 9795. 32.6% of traffic fatalities and 9.5% of traffic crashes were alcohol related6. Approximately three people died and 60 were injured every day due to alcohol related collisions in Florida7.

What other hazardous acts affect the driving environment?

In 1999, speeding was a contributing factor in 30% of all fatal crashes, and 12,628 lives were lost in speeding related crashes. Motor vehicle crashes cost society an estimated $4,800 per second. The economic cost



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