Once it was popular to say “don’t become a statistic” due to statistic’s nature of focusing on the negative. The 2019 traffic statistics were released on January 1st and they are not all bad. For all the discussions about mobile phone use and lack of focus causing more crashes, the statistics may question the rhetoric.
There were 550 deaths in 2019 due to traffic accidents. That’s 15 less than last year but a staggering less than half the 1123 deaths in 2007. December was the month that made the difference as there were 16 less deaths. Possibly weather related as December was one of the warmest on record with many sunny days in 2019. For the past 12 years the mortality rate has basically been steadily decreasing, even though car ownership, sales and kilometers driven were all on the uptick over the same period of time.
Serious injuries were also on the decline. For 2019 there were 1875 seriously injured people related to traffic accidents. That is an incredible 227 less than last year.
Pedestrian deaths also fell significantly in 2019 to 91, 22 less than the year before. 37 cyclists were killed which was about the same as in 2018.
With those numbers out there was actually 3000 more accidents than in 2018 for a total in 2019 of 102,000 or almost 280 a day. That seems almost impossibly high. It also may be related to more crashes at slow speeds in traffic; while checking the phone, sending a text message to a waiting significant other, or making a restaurant reservation. So keep your eyes on the road in 2020 and don’t become a statistic!