Cleveland drivers must understand risk factors on the roads so they can make informed choices when they get behind the wheel. Crash data shows the level of danger motorists face, and higher rates of car crashes mean drivers should exercise more care as they operate their vehicles. Unfortunately, in 2015, Ohio car accident rates and nationwide crash rates were significantly higher than the prior year.
Drivers need to be aware there were elevated risks of collisions last year and should exercise additional caution when operating their vehicles during 2016 to try to ensure the rise in car-crash deaths does not become a multi-year upward trend.
Car Accident Statistics Show Rise in Motor Vehicle Accident Fatalities in 2015
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported crash statistics for the past several years. In 2014:
- 32,675 people were killed in car crashes. This was a .1 percent decline compared with in 2013.
- The fatality rate was 1.07. The fatality rate is a measure of number of people killed per 100 million miles traveled in vehicles. The low fatality rate meant 2014 was the safest year in recorded history for occupants of passenger vehicles.
- 21,022 people died in vehicles over the course of the year (remaining car crash deaths happened outside of vehicles, to people like pedestrians). This is the lowest number of deaths in passenger vehicles since data collection began back in 1975.
- There was a 3.1 percent rise in pedestrian deaths, compared with 2013. Although more pedestrians died, the number of cyclists who were killed in crashes went down by 2.3 percent. In total, 4,884 pedestrians died after involvement in vehicle crashes and 726 bicycle riders died in collisions.
- Drunk driving caused 9,967 fatalities, with impaired motorists causing approximately 1/3 of all fatalities in collisions.
- 1,565 motorcycle riders were killed over the course of the year.
- 10 percent of all crash fatalities occurred in collisions with drivers who were distracted. Distracted driving killed a total of 3,179 people over the course of the year.
- At least 846 people were killed in collisions attributed to drowsy driving. Drowsy driving accounted for at least 2.6 percent of deaths in crashes, but actual numbers are likely higher.
In 2015, by contrast, the fatality rate rose 4.4 percent and 8.1 percent more people died in car crashes than in 2014. In Ohio specifically, National Safety Council indicates there were 499 fatalities in the first six months of 2015 compared with 425 deaths in car accidents in the first six months of 2014. This is a 17 percent increase in the total number of people who died as a result of being involved in motor vehicle accidents.
Drivers throughout Ohio should take actions to help ensure crash rates are not even higher in 2016 by avoiding drunken, drowsy, and distracted driving and by ensuring all traffic safety rules are followed whenever they are on the road.