ECONOMIC INDICATORS HELP RESEARCHERS TRACK TRENDS IN MOTOR VEHICLE DEATHS

Motor vehicle deaths hit about 51,000 annually in 1979-80. Twelve years later, deaths dropped to just over 39,000 but increased again during 1993-94 to more than 40,000 annually. Many short-term changes in motor vehicle deaths have historically been related to the state of the economy. To see if this was the case for the increase in deaths that occurred during 1993-94, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety researchers studied relationships between economic indicators and monthly motor vehicle fatality counts from 1975 through September 1995. They used linear regressions to model monthly fatalities as a function of vehicle miles traveled, statistics on employment, and sales of new automobiles. Researchers found that the best predictor of short-term changes in deaths is the number of unemployed people (a decrease in unemployment predicts an increase in motor vehicle deaths). Researchers concluded that the recent increases in motor vehicle fatalities are associated with an improved economy and that they are not related to short-term changes in total miles traveled.

Language

  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00721563
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-042 078
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: May 29 1996 12:00AM