Reasons For High Level Of Motor-Vehicle Deaths In The U.S.

Motor-vehicle deaths and the national trends is discussed in the February 16, 2018 Wall Street Journal article titled “U.S. Road-Death Rates Remain Near 10-Year High.”   The article discusses trends in fatal vehicle accidents, as well as technologies that are utilized to improve driving safety.

Notable excerpts include:

U.S. motor-vehicle deaths remained near decade-high levels in 2017, an indication U.S. roadways aren’t getting any safer, even as auto makers equip cars with more safety gear and many other developed countries make notable strides in reducing highway fatalities.
The National Safety Council said Thursday traffic-related fatalities hit 40,100 last year, the second year in a row the 40,000 mark was surpassed.
Among the issues mentioned in the article that are causing the increase in fatalities is increased miles driven as well as distracted driving.  [On this site, the accidents caused by distracted driving are discussed on the “Distracted Driving Accidents” page.]
Among the safety features that are mentioned in the article are blind spot alert, automatic braking, adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist (lka.)  Statistics as to how many vehicles sold have these technologies are shown in the article.
Another issue that is discussed in the article is that of drug-impaired driving.  An excerpt from the article:
NHTSA in March will launch a campaign against drug-impaired driving, which it has identified as key to reducing traffic fatalities. “We know that many people switch between use of alcohol and illicit drugs, or consume them together, and we need to consider both,” Heidi King, the agency’s de facto chief, said during the hearing before a House panel.
On this site, that traffic safety issue and how it impacts Will County is discussed on the “Vehicle Accidents Involving Drivers Under The Influence Of Drugs” page.  As seen on that page, accidents in which the driver is impaired by drug use (often referred to as “drugged driving”) has been increasing in the Chicago area and has led to many accidents.  The injuries in many of these accidents are serious in nature, and some had led to fatalities.