Traffic fatalities down —thanks to oil shock!

There’s a lesson here. But how many people are going to get it? From AP, July 23:

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Rising prices at the gas pump appear to be having at least one positive effect: Traffic deaths around the country are plummeting, just as they did during the Arab oil embargo more than three decades ago.

Researchers with the National Safety Council report 9 percent fewer motor vehicle deaths through May than in the first five months of 2007, including decreases of 18 percent in March and 14 percent in April.

Preliminary figures obtained by the Associated Press show that some states have reported declines of 20 percent or more. Thirty-one states have reported declines of at least 10 percent, and eight have reported increases, according to the council.

No one can say definitively why road fatalities are falling, but it is happening as Americans cut back sharply on driving because of record-high gas prices…

The federal government reported in April that miles traveled were 1.8 percent lower in April than in the same month a year earlier, continuing a trend that began in November.

Experts say a slumping economy and rising fuel prices have brought down the number of road fatalities in a hurry.

“When the economy is in the tank and fuel prices are high, you typically see a decline in miles driven and traffic deaths,” said John Ulczycki, the safety council’s executive director for transportation safety.

As we have repeatedly pointed out, statistics prove that cars are worse than terrorism.

See our last posts on car culture and the oil shock.