By: U. Kelley Riedel, Attorney at Law
TRANSPORTATION ACCIDENT PRACTICE – The Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) reported a record low fatality rate for all types of traffic accidents in our country in 2007, and they are predicting an even lower fatality rate in traffic accidents in 2008. U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters credited the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s increased efforts to improve safety awareness as resulting in fewer highway related fatality accidents. “Our focus on safety – from our highways, railways, seaways and airways – has led to one of the safest periods in our nation’s transportation history,” said Secretary Peters at a December 11, 2008 press conference in Kansas City.
The NHTSA now has the capability to track all types of accidents, from automobile and trucking accidents on our nation’s highways to boating, railway and airplane accidents, through improved electronic data-gathering techniques. The benefit to these technological advances is that the USDT can make projections in near real time to “give safety professionals the data they need to keep motorists safe,” said Secretary Peters.
Early estimates showed that from January to October 2007 34,502 people died on America’s roadways, compared with 31,110 automobile, motorcycle, trucking and other types of traffic fatalities from January to October 2008 from data acquired from the new technology. “For the second year in a row we are seeing historic lows in death’s on our nation’s roads,” said Secretary Peters.
NHTSA collects date regarding automobile accidents, trucking accidents, and other types of highway traffic accidents from the State of California and the rest of the 49 United States, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to produce annual reports and traffic fatality trends. To find out more about transportation safety in California and the U.S. visit the website of the U.S. Department of Transportation at www.dot.gov.