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JUST RELEASED: Research Notes, Crash*Stats & Reports

  • NCSA Research Note “Motorcycle Helmet Use in 2015 -- Overall Results” (DOT HS 812 275), Use of DOT-compliant motorcycle helmets1 was 60.7* percent in 2015, statistically unchanged from 64.3 per¬cent in 2014. This result is from the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS), the only survey that provides nationwide probability-based observed data on motorcycle helmet use in the United States. The NOPUS is conducted by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • Traffic Safety Fact Sheet “Large Trucks” (DOT HS 812 279), A large truck as defined in this fact sheet is any medium or heavy truck, excluding buses and motor homes, with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 10,000 pounds. In 2014, 85 percent of the large trucks involved in fatal traffic crashes were heavy large trucks (GVWR > 26,000 lbs.). In 2014 there were 3,903 people killed and an estimated 111,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks. In the United States, an estimated 438,000 large trucks were involved in police-reported traffic crashes during 2014.
  • Traffic Safety Fact Sheet “Young Drivers” (DOT HS 812 278), For the purposes of this fact sheet, the term young driver refers to a person 15 to 20 years old operating a motor vehicle involved in a crash. In 2014, there were 1,717 young drivers 15 to 20 years old who died in motor vehicle crashes, an increase of 1 percent from 1,697 in 2013. Additionally, an estimated 170,000 young drivers were injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2014, a decrease of 4 percent from 177,000 in 2013.
  • NHTSA’s NCSA Research Note “Distracted Driving 2014” (DOT HS 812 260), Ten percent of fatal crashes, 18 percent of injury crashes, and 16 percent of all police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2014 were reported as distraction-affected crashes. The Department of Transportation works to reduce the occur¬rence of distracted driving and raise awareness of the dan¬gers of distracted driving. This risky behavior poses a danger to vehicle occupants as well as nonoccupants such as pedes¬trians and bicyclists.
  • NHTSA’s NCSA Manual “National Child Restraint Usage 2011 NCRUSS User’s Coding Manual” (DOT HS 812 254), The NCRUSS provides data on the level of child restraint use and misuse for children up to 8 riding in passenger vehicles (i.e., automobiles, SUVs, vans, and light trucks).
  • NHTSA’s NCSA Research Note “2014 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview” (DOT HS 812 246), The number of motor vehicle crash fatalities on U.S. roadways in 2014 continued the general decline that started in 2006. The Nation lost 32,675 people in crashes on roadways during 2014, down from 32,894 in 2013. The estimated number of people injured on the Nation’s roads increased in 2014, rising from 2.31 to 2.34 million injured people. Fatalities declined from 2013 to 2014 in almost all segments of the population—passenger vehicle occupants, large-truck occupants, pedalcyclists, young drivers, and with alcohol-impaired driving fatalities; only pedestrian fatalities increased by 2.2 percent. Although fatali¬ties decreased from 2013 to 2014, the estimated number of police-reported crashes that occurred on the roads increased— primarily a result of an almost 8-percent increase in crashes that resulted in no injuries, only property damage.
  • NHTSA’s NCSA Research Note “Seat Belt Use in 2015 – Overall Results” (DOT HS 812 243):, Seat belt use in 2015 reached 88.5 percent,* up from 86.7 percent in 2014; this was not a statistically significant difference. This result is from the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS), which is the only survey that provides nationwide probability-based observed data on seat belt use in the United States. The NOPUS is conducted annually by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2015, NHTSA conducted a redesign to select a new NOPUS sample representative of the most current demographic and traffic conditions. For more details, please see The 2015 NOPUS Redesign on page 4 of this Research Note. Seat belt use has shown an increasing trend since 2000, accompanied by a steady decline in the percentage of unrestrained passenger vehicle (PV) occupant fatalities during daytime.
  • NCSA’s Crash*Stat “Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities for the First Nine Months (Jan-Sep) of 2015” (DOT HS 812 240), A statistical projection of traffic fatalities for the first nine months of 2015 shows that an estimated 26,000 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. This represents an increase of about 9.3 percent as compared to the 23,796 fatalities that were reported to have occurred in the first nine months of 2014
  • Find All NCSA Studies, Reports & Publications in CrashStats, Our modernized interface portal will let you find: • Traffic Safety Fact Sheets • FARS/GES Reports • Research Notes and Crash*Stats • Technical Reports • Annual Assessments • Documentation and Manuals for FARS, GES, and NASS-CDS. Customers may also leave a customized data request.

National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA)  

NCSA, an office of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is responsible for providing a wide range of analytical and statistical support to NHTSA and the highway safety community at large.

Data Modernization

NHTSA is conducting a comprehensive review of the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS) research design and data collection methods as part of a major effort to modernize the system. Users of NASS and crash data may comment on the future utility of current data elements, recommend additional data elements and attributes, and describe their anticipated data needs.

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