Passenger car injuries, fatalities decline; light truck rates up: study

Washington – The proportion of all roadway traffic fatalities that include occupants of passenger cars has declined – from 63 percent to 56 percent between 2001 and 2010 – while the percentage of light truck occupant fatalities has increased, according to a study (.pdf file) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis.

Passenger cars were classified as weighing less than 10,000 pounds and did not include pickup trucks, vans or sport utility vehicles, which are considered light trucks. Among other findings:

  • The proportion of light truck occupant fatalities increased to 44 percent in 2010 from 37 percent in 2001.
  • The proportion of injured occupants that were in passenger cars declined to 63 percent in 2010 from 69 percent in 2001, and increased to 37 percent from 31 percent for light trucks during the same time period.
  • Rollover crashes made up 35 percent of all occupant fatalities in 2010 for passenger vehicles, with occupants of SUVs accounting for the highest proportion of fatalities in rollover crashes and passenger cars the lowest.

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