NHTSA releases preliminary 2009 crash statistics

Fewer people died in motor vehicle crashes in the first nine months of 2009 than during the same time period in 2008, according to a report released Jan. 18 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Preliminary statistical projections outlined in a report (.pdf file) show an estimated 25,576 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes from January to September 2009. Researchers say this represents a decline of about 7.9 percent from the 27,771 fatalities that occurred in the first three quarters of 2008.

Meanwhile, preliminary statistics reported by the Federal Highway Administration show the number of vehicle miles traveled in the first nine months of 2009 increased by about 6.7 billion. The fatality rate per 100 million VMT was 1.16 for the first nine months of 2009, down from 1.26 fatalities per 100 million VMT in the first nine months of 2008.

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