Saturday, November 1, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Traffic fatalities decline even as vehicles get more efficient

Web_OurView_YourView

Fatal traffic accidents are down across America even while vehicles are using fuel more efficiently than ever. Both are encouraging trends that deserve to continue.

Mind you, some people thought this couldn’t happen. They warned in the 1990s and in the early 2000s that if better gas mileage was a goal, cars would become lighter and thus increase the risk of fatal crashes with heavier vehicles.

Yet look at recent trends.

U.S. traffic fatalities have fallen fairly steadily in the prior decade, from about 43,000 in 2002 to just over 33,500 in 2012. Preliminary numbers indicate fatalities dropped again in 2013.

The average weight of passenger vehicles in the United States actually has been rather static in the last decade, even as highway fatality rates have fallen.

The average weight was 3,934 pounds in 2002 and 3,920 pounds in 2012, according to an American Chemical Council report from last July. That latter figure was the lightest since 1999, the council reported.

The average fuel efficiency of new passenger vehicles and light trucks has risen remarkably in the last decade.

Much of the credit goes to new federal regulations, supported by the Obama administration and finally endorsed by major automakers, that require better fuel economy. That helps reduce the cost to drive a vehicle while also cutting harmful pollution.

New passengers cars achieved only 29 miles a gallon in 2002, but that figure had jumped to 35.6 miles a gallon by 2012, according to a recent report by the United States Department of Transportation. Average mileage for light trucks had increased from 21.4 to 25, another significant gain.

Those figures will go even higher as stricter rules take effect over the next decade.

Plenty of factors have worked to reduce fatalities.

Fewer accidents have involved drunk drivers. The total number of people killed in U.S. alcohol-impaired crashes was 13,290 in 2002, but that was down to 10,322 in 2012, according to a report last month by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The reported rate of seat belt use has trended up, moving from 82 percent in 2005 to 86 percent in 2012, according to the NHTSA.

Experts also point out that many design changes have made vehicles safer. Examples include stronger roofs plus crumple zones that absorb energy in crashes. Different materials are used to make vehicles. The weight of regular steel and iron castings has fallen in the last decade, while more pounds of medium- and high-strength steel, plastics and rubber are used.

The long-term reduction in traffic fatalities is an encouraging accomplishment, made even better by the successful efforts to produce millions of vehicles that are more fuel efficient and more environmentally friendly.

— Kansas City Star

Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Mom gets creative to costume son, his wheelchair

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Mall proves right site for many on wet Halloween

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1

 
Wellness Recovery Action Plan training dates set

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Suisun police warn of scam involving phony IRS agents

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Costumes rule day at Halloween parade

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Few details available on Halloween shooting

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Dance with me . . . the old-fashioned way

By Murray Bass | From Page: B5

 
Beach scene in ‘Carp’ worth a visit

By George Medovoy | From Page: B5

 
Suisun City police log: Oct. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Fairfield police log: Oct. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
.

US / World

Military sex survey draws complaints

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Conviction in 1984 Pleasanton classmate murder

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Poll: Voters favor water bond, sentencing changes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Castro, Sacramento Zoo’s popular tiger, dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Spacecraft for tourists breaks up on test flight

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
‘Grim Reaper’ attacks woman in California home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Ex-band member guilty in drum major’s hazing death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
NTSB: Kansas plane drifted to left before crashing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

2 arrested as people flock to Hawaii lava

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Painted faces at parks need painstaking removal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Judge rejects attempt to isolate nurse

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Sharpton calls for federal prosecution in Ferguson

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Kansas urges judge not to rule on gay marriage

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Early votes exceed 15 million – but who benefits?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Creator of Operation couldn’t afford own operation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Hospital: Girl, 14, dies after school shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Protests push Burkina Faso president from power

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Canada restricts visas amid Ebola scare

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Mexico police questioned in killing of 3 Americans

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Italy phases out sea rescues to save migrants

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Israel cartoon highlights troubled ties with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
UN: Growing number of foreigners in terror groups

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Russia: Natural gas will flow after Ukraine pays

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Liberia opens 1 of largest Ebola treatment centers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Yemen’s Shiite rebels give president ultimatum

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Peshmerga fighters enter Syrian border

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

Editorial cartoons: Nov. 1, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
New initiative law makes far too few fixes

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A8

 
Letter on threats case misses mark

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

Moy should be re-elected Nov. 4

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

 
Davenport, Strickland for Suisun council

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

.

Living

Today in History: Nov. 1, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Nov. 1, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Families need acknowledgement of their loss, no matter the cause of death

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B11

 
Horoscopes: Nov. 1, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B11

.

Entertainment

Hello Kitty’s 40 years of cuteness and cool

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Taylor Swift gets a Bronx cheer as NYC Ambassador

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Crowds, cuteness overwhelm first Hello Kitty Con

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Rowling reveals new tidbits on Pottermore site

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Indians saddle Mustangs with 50-0 defeat

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Orange fever reigns over drizzly Giants’ parade

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Wildcats top Armijo 49-15 on muddy Halloween

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1

 
Warriors, Thompson agree to maximum extension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Untapable wins Breeders’ Cup Distaff

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Cubs hire Maddon as manager, fire Renteria

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

49ers LB Willis to be game time decision

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Raiders may be without starting CB Carlos Rogers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Kentucky earns No. 1 nod in AP preseason poll

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Gay leads Kings past Trail Blazers 103-94

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

This date in baseball history for Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Sports on TV for Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 1-2, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B4

Stewart hits 200 mph, Kenseth takes Texas pole

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

 
.

Business

 
US stock indexes zoom back to record highs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Exxon, Chevron shrug off effect of low oil prices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Now in aisle 3 at Lowe’s: robots

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

US consumer spending down 0.2 percent in September

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Microsoft promises new Office for Macs next year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Obituaries

Robert Christensen

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
.

Home Seller 11/1/14

Real estate transactions for Nov. 1, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2

left over transactions from Oct. 25

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2, 1 Comment

Average US 30-year loan rate up to 3.98 pct.

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2

Right at Home: artistry and artifice in new tiles

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3