Highway Death Tolls Rise for First Time in Six Years

Crash fatalities on U.S. highways in 2012 rose 5.3% as compared to 2011. This number ended a six year run of consistent declines in crash fatalities. Approximately 34,000 people died on highways in 2012 – meaning that 1.1 people die per 100 million vehicle miles driven in the U.S.

The increase in fatalities, Bloomberg reports, “outpaced” the 2012 increase in the number of miles driven by Americans. Americans drove only .3% more than in the previous year.

CTLS researcher Dr. Norman Garrick has conducted research which aimed to compare fatality rates in the United States to those in other countries. Compared to many other developed countries, the U.S has extremely high rates of highway fatalities. The world’s safest country is the Netherlands, where there are only 4 highway deaths per 100,000 citizens. These new numbers put the U.S. around 10 deaths per 100,000 people.

DOT Commits $600,000 to Connecticut Transportation Safety Research Center

The state of Connecticut Department of Transportation has committed $600,000 dollars to the 6 month old Connecticut Transportation Safety Research Center (CTSRC). CTSRC shares the Longley Building on UConn’s Depot Campus with CTLS.

The CTSRC is a relatively new program which is working to transcribe handwritten and typed police vehicle accident reports into digital files which are mapped on a Geographic Information System (GIS).

An example of a popular GIS is Google Earth. In its case, business reviews, and roadways are data points in one gigantic system. The CTRSC model will map the time, and location of vehicle crashes in the state of Connecticut, as they relate to roadways.  This will help Government officials analyze crash data more efficiently and thoroughly than ever before.

In an announcement with UConn Provost Mun Choi, and DOT Commisioner Jim Redeker, Governor Dannel Malloy said that CTRSC will “[help] make our highways safer, and will save taxpayer dollars in the process. The system modernizes crash reporting – law enforcement can file reports faster, first responders can clear crash scenes more quickly, and traffic flow will be restored sooner.”