New NHTSA Study Shows Improved Vehicle Design Contributing to Historic Decline in Roadway Death

On June 12, 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a press release announcing the agency’s findings on crash statistics presented in a recent report. The report, titled “An Analysis of Recent Improvements to Vehicle Safety,” provides crash statistics on vehicle models from 2000 to 2008. The report analyzed police reports from crashes that took place between 2000 and 2008.

The NHTSA’s report found that improvements in vehicle design and vehicle safety from 2000 to 2008 contributed to a reduction in crashes, fatalities and injuries in the U.S. Estimates from the report indicate that these improvements helped save thousands of lives between 2000 and 2008. Furthermore, safety improvements helped prevent one million injuries in 2008.

The summary from the agency’s report provides concise data and statistics regarding improvements in crash prevention:

“Our study finds remarkable improvements to vehicle safety. We estimate that the likelihood of crashing in 100,000 miles of driving has decreased from 30 percent in a model year 2000 car to 25 percent in a model year 2008 one, when both vehicles are driven ‘as new’. The likelihood of escaping a crash uninjured has improved from 79 to 82 percent as a result of improvements between the 2000 and 2008 car fleets. Improvements are also found for light trucks and vans, and for the chances of surviving a crash and avoiding incapacitation.”

“The nationwide impact of these advancements is substantial. We estimate that improvements made after the model year 2000 fleet prevented the crashes of 700,000 vehicles; prevented or mitigated the injuries of 1 million occupants; and saved 2,000 lives in the 2008 calendar year alone.  Of the 9 million passenger vehicles that were in crashes, the crashes of an estimated 200,000 of them were preventable by improvements to the model year 2008 fleet, and the injuries of 300,000 of their 12 million occupants would have been prevented or mitigated, including saving 600 lives.”

See the full National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) press release at:

See the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report at:

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