SUVs & Guns, same tacticsby Nancy
SUVs & Guns, same tactics
This list usually stays right to firearms issues, but the article
below gives a clear picture of how the anti-everything crowd
uses the same tactics against SUVs as with guns.
FYI (copy below):
Statistical Traffic Wreck
By Lain Murray 04/28/2003
Last week we heard on every news channel and read in every
newspaper the disturbing news that more people had been
killed in traffic accidents in 2002 than the previous year.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
had announced that 42,850 people had been killed in 38,356
fatal crashes, compared with 42,116 killed in 37,795 fatal
accidents in 2001. There was much breast-beating and
furrowing of brows at the news and the blame industry went
into overdrive. The NHTSA itself provided much ammunition,
and two of the blame industry's favorite targets were
fingered: SUVs and alcohol. Yet a closer look at the
details reveals that these figures are not the disaster they
were portrayed as, and that there is one culprit that stands
out above all else as the cause of most deaths.
To begin with, when we hear that more people have been
killed than in a previous year, we must always remember that
the American population is also climbing. More people in
America means more people on the road. More people on the
road means more opportunity for accidents, so it is not
necessarily a surprise that more people have been killed in
them. The question we need to ask is whether more people
were killed per vehicle mile traveled in 2002 than in 2001.
The NHTSA provides the answer: in 2002, there were 1.5
fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. That
figure is identical to the 2001 figure, which in turn was
the lowest figure in recent years (the number was over 2
until 1991, when it dropped below that level for the first
occasion in modern times).
So our roads are actually as safe as they were last year,
which is the safest they have ever been since the era of
mass automobile ownership began. The consistent trend of
our roads getting safer over the last decade is continuing.
Moreover, when it comes to traffic injuries, the news is
even better. Injuries per 100 million vehicle miles dropped
from 109 in 2001 to 103 in 2002, a decrease of 5 percent.
This is part of a consistent decline in injuries since 1995.
Nevertheless, the NHTSA provided figures that told reporters
that SUVs, pickup trucks and vans were responsible for 59
percent of the increase in fatalities for vehicle occupants.
SUVs, unsurprisingly, got the lion's share of the blame for
the 500 extra fatalities in this category. Yet once again,
this does not tell the full story. Just as the population
of America has been increasing, the number of SUVs has also
been increasing as they become more popular. The number of
SUVs registered in the USA tripled from 976,000 in 1989 to
over 3 million in 2001. There may be a safety issue with
SUVs, but it is also possible that reckless drivers who
would get into an accident anyway are now more likely than
before to drive an SUV. It would therefore be useful to
know the number of fatalities per SUV registered, but the
NHTSA does not provide this information. It is also
noticeable that the number of injuries sustained in SUV,
pickup and van accidents declined from 861,000 to 848,000.
The NHTSA also stated that the number of alcohol related
fatalities increased by 3 percent, from 17,448 to 17,990.
However, when we look at the number per 100 million vehicle
miles traveled, we find the figure increases by a tiny
amount from 0.63 to 0.64. The rate has been increasing
marginally from a low in 1999 following a decade long fall,
but it is still well below the level of as recently as 1996.
It is also interesting that the number of fatalities by
those "impaired" by alcohol, in other words those who had
taken a drink but were still legally allowed to drive (a
blood alcohol content of less than 0.08), fell by 7 percent.
The increase in alcohol-related fatalities came in those
already recognized as intoxicated. There is certainly no
case here for lowering the legal drinking limit further.
Instead, these figures seem to confirm the well-established
case that it is "hardcore" drunk drivers that are the real
danger on the road and that policy changes should be
targeted at them.
Alcohol played a role in 42 percent of traffic fatalities
and SUVs, pickups and vans in about 35 percent. Yet the
NHTSA findings pointed to a much more dangerous factor. Of
all fatalities, 59 percent involved someone failing to wear
a restraint like a seatbelt. Even a drunk driver in an SUV
is much more likely to survive a rollover if he is wearing a
seatbelt. Equally, a sober driver in a subcompact is more
likely to survive if she is wearing a seatbelt when a
drunken SUV driver crashes into her vehicle.
Not using a seatbelt is the single most dangerous thing a
driver or other vehicle occupant can do. There is, however,
no industry that makes money out of people not wearing
seatbelts (except possibly for funeral directors). Instead,
reporters have to blame their viewers and readers
individually. It's much more convenient to accuse evil SUV
manufacturers and the alcohol and restaurant industries.
Yet because blame is focused elsewhere, fewer people will
get the one most vital message that could help save their
Goto Forum Home
|Response Title||Author and Date|
|Front Sight: May 1 Deadline. Absolutely NO Exceptions.||Nancy on Apr 30, 7:07 PM|
|ALERT: JPFO AND "ASSAULT WEAPONS" LEGISLATION||Nancy on Apr 30, 7:09 PM|
|Create your own forum at Network54|