# [ExI] US traffic deaths dropped to new low

spike spike66 at att.net
Fri Apr 15 14:28:01 UTC 2011

```>... On Behalf Of BillK
Subject: Re: [ExI] US traffic deaths dropped to new low

On Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 7:40 AM, spike  wrote:
>> The point of my bringing in the two websites citing numbers disparate
> by a factor of 8 is that the numbers you ask for are elusive.  They
> depend on how you count...

>Spike,

>80% of traffic fatalities are people in the vehicle. (Driver or
passengers).
Roughly another 10% are motorcyclists and the other 10% are pedestrians.

>Traffic fatalities are roughly 50% Urban and 50% Rural.
(Possibly surprising considering the difference in population size between
Rural and Urban)...BillK

Thanks BillK, but again it isn't as clear as that.  Sure we can compare
numbers and we have lots of good mathematical tools for doing that.  But the
question remains, which are counted and why?  We saw in the pedestrian
fatalities statistics a factor of 8 disagreement based on how they are
counted.  Which is right?  When we see numbers like those above, are we free
to assume a factor of 8 uncertainty?  Plenty of cases are unambiguous, but
many are debatable how they should be counted.

This uncertainty may get worse as the population ages and cars actually get
safer and better.  Driver has heart attack, drives into a tree.  Perhaps the
driver was dead on impact, but it isn't worth doing an autopsy to find out.
Counted as a traffic fatality?  Would not that driver have had a heart
attack anyway?  Driver has heart attack, crosses centerline, slays an
oncoming prole.  One traffic fatality or two?

spike

```