Statistics about police-reported motor vehicle crashes over time are tracked. Trends for fatal crashes and fatalities generally are presented from 1975 (when FARS began operation) to 2011; however, alcohol data from FARS show data only for the years these data are available—1982 to 2011. Trends for nonfatal crashes and injured are presented from 1988 (when GES began operation) to 2011. Care should be taken when comparing nonfatal crash and injury statistics from one year to the next. Since the statistics derived from GES data are estimates, year-to-year differences may be the result of the sampling process, not the result of an actual trend. The variability or sampling errors associated with the estimates must be considered when making any year-to-year comparisons using GES data. (For more information on sampling error, see Appendix C.)
Below are some of the statistics you will find in this chapter:
- Fatal crashes decreased by 1.8 percent from 2010 to 2011, and the fatality rate dropped to 1.10 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2011.
- The injury rate in 2011 was the same as the rate in 2010 and 2009, at 75 persons injured per 100 million vehicle miles of travel.
- The occupant fatality rate (including motorcyclists) per 100,000 population, which declined by 22.7 percent from 1975 to 1992, decreased by 32.7 percent from 1992 to 2011.
- The occupant injury rate (including motorcyclists) per 100,000 population, which declined by 13.6 percent from 1988 to 1992, decreased by 41.1 percent from 1992 to 2011.
- The nonoccupant fatality rate per 100,000 population has declined by 57.4 percent from 1975 to 2011.
- The nonoccupant injury rate per 100,000 population has declined by 49.4 percent from 1988 to 2011.
- The percent of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities has declined from 48 percent in 1982 to 31 percent in 2011.