AN EVALUATION OF THE INCREASE IN TRAFFIC FATALITIES IN VIRGINIA IN 1977

Due to an alarming increase in traffic fatalities in Virginia from 1976 to 1977, all of Virginia's fatal accidents during those years were examined by using data stored in the Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS) in an effort to determine the reasons for the increase. Demographic characteristics of the fatal accidents such as day of week, type of road, kind of location, and age and sex of driver were compared for the fatalities occurring in 1976 and 1977. The data were examined according to three categories: accident, vehicle/driver, and person. In the category of accident related factors, only classification of trafficway was found to differ significantly for 1976 and 1977, with an increase in interstate and other U. S. route accidents in 1977. Vehicle related factors were similar for 1976 and 1977, except for an increase in the involvement of vehicles with lower occupancy rates in 1977. There were also some changes in the distributions of vehicle weight with the vehicles involved in fatal crashes in 1977 being slightly heavier than those in 1976. For driver related variables, there were fewer drivers involved in fatal crashes in 1977 who were considered impaired (asleep, inattentive, other driver impairment, etc.), and the 1977 drivers had been involved in fewer previous traffic convictions. For persons involved in fatal accidents in 1976 and 1977, there were changes in the percentages of seat belts usage; in particlar, in 1977 there was a reduction of seat belt usage among persons in the driver position.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Virginia Highway and Transportation Research Council

    Charlottesville, VA  United States 
  • Authors:
    • Mitchell, D
    • Lynn, C
  • Publication Date: 1978-9

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 25 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00188200
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Virginia Highway and Transportation Research Council
  • Report/Paper Numbers: VHTRC 79-R10, HS-024 445
  • Files: HSL, NTL, TRIS, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Mar 28 1979 12:00AM