Interstate Highway Safety Devices Save ‘Thousands of Lives Every Year’: Report | 2021-07-19

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Washington – An estimated 6,555 lives were saved in 2019 due to various safety features of the interstate road network, making interstate travel much safer than on any other road, according to a recently released report from the Transportation Research Information Program.

The report examines the use, condition and benefits of the 65-year-old interstate highway system while analyzing the findings of a 2019 Transportation Research Board report on highways, prepared at the request of Congress.

Analysis of Federal Highway Administration data found that in 2019, the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle kilometers traveled was 0.55 on highways, compared to 1.3 on all other roads. Researchers from TRIP, a nonprofit that studies surface transportation issues, formed their estimate of lives saved in 2019 by comparing rates while calculating the additional deaths that would have occurred if interstate travel had occurred. occurred on other routes.

“Because it carries large volumes of traffic on roads with higher safety standards and lower road fatalities, the interstate road network saves thousands of lives every year,” the report says.

According to TRIP, features that make highways safer than other roads include:

  • Separation from other roads and railways
  • A minimum of four lanes
  • Smoother curves
  • Paved shoulders
  • Median barriers
  • Rough tapes to warn drivers when they leave the road

The report adds, “Travel on the country’s interstate highways is increasing at a rate almost three times the rate of adding new lanes. From 2000 to 2019, interstate travel by large trucks increased 43%, and overall vehicle travel increased 26%. Large trucks accounted for 12% of all kilometers driven between states in 2019.


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