What is going on? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been keeping track of the number of deaths caused by traffic accidents in the United States since 1975, and so far in 2012, there has been a spike in the number of traffic deaths — a jump in stats that is the biggest NHTSA records have ever seen.
Why the record breaking number of traffic accident deaths this year?
Car crashes have killed more people – a lot more people – from January to June 2012 than during the same six month time period last year. The roads haven’t changed that much; the people, we have to assume are still pretty much the same. (We read the CDC’s warnings about Zombies, but we don’t believe it.)
It’s a record breaking 1.12 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. For the first ninety days in 2012, the spike was up 13.4% — and that’s a big jump. And it goes against some conjecture that warmer weather meant more people on the roads, since this spike happened during the winter months.
Well, consider this:
1. the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety issued a press release in August 2012 with its findings on how safe luxury model cars are on the road – and the findings were shocking. Luxury cars would be the safest vehicle to be driving in a crash, right? Wrong. According to the IIHS Study:
Only 3 of 11 midsize luxury and near-luxury cars evaluated earn good or acceptable ratings in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s new small overlap frontal crash test, the latest addition to a suite of tests designed to help consumers pick the safest vehicles.
The Acura TL and Volvo S60 earn good ratings, while the Infiniti G earns acceptable. The Acura TSX, BMW 3 series, Lincoln MKZ and Volkswagen CC earn marginal ratings. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lexus IS 250/350, Audi A4 and Lexus ES 350 earn poor. All of these cars are 2012 models.
2. people are complaining to the federal government about their concerns over their vehicles and worries that their cars aren’t safe: 30,000 complaints were filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last year, and Consumer Reports tracks this stuff too – compiling a list of the 10 cars most worrisome to Americans today (the Mini is number one).
So, are car manufacturers building cars that just aren’t as safe? If so, then they should be held accountable for putting profits over people anytime any person is hurt, injured, or killed in a traffic accident on an Indiana or Illinois road or any other roadway here in America.
Because something’s going on here … and the roads just aren’t that different, and we just don’t buy that Zombies are causing lots more traffic deaths in 2012.