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Fatal Crashes by Date, 2015

The strongest driver of automobile fatalities throughout the year is the season, followed by the day of the week. People drive more miles in the summer, and are more likely to drive drunk and speed. In contrast, despite icy roads in the northern half of United States, fewer people die in car crashes in the winter months then the summer. Automobile fatalities peak on Saturdays and Sundays, especially in the early hours of Saturday morning after the bars close.

Urban vs Rural Fatalities, New York Highways

Nationally, 51% of highway fatalities occur on rural highways, while 48% occur on urban highways. Rural highways, due to the high rate of speed of vehicles and cross-traffic tend to be much deadlier then urban highways, although in recent years the gap has decreased nationally. Nationally highway fatalities are declining, because cars crashes are more survivable in modern cars then in years past.

Data Source: Traffic Safety Performance (Core Outcome) Measures* For New York.

Rest Area Plan Questioned by Congresswoman Tenney

This is stupid, especially because Congresswomen Tenney doesn't understand the law. The NYS Thruway was financed by the Thruway Authority bonds, it receives no federal highway funding (with a handful of exemptions, e.g. in late 1970s widening of the "free" Interstate 88 overlap).

The Thruway was built before the Interstate system, it's grandfathered into whatever state standards exist. Full-service rest areas are allowed on the Thruway, because it's grandfathered in facility. This is why there are gas stations and McDonalds on the Thruway -- even though on a normal federally funded highway -- this is not permitted. On normal federally funded highways, only facilities that may be provided on the highway is bathrooms and picnic tables. No other businesses are allowed on federally funded interstate highways (which, I repeat, the Thruway is not a federally funded road).

Even if the US DOT decides to withhold federal highway funding for some reason (like the I Love NY signs), it's a moot point, because if you withhold 100% of $0 in funding, the Thruway Authority still receives no money.

worst U.S. interstates, due to terrain

I have to agree strongly with Interstate 68 through Cumberland, Maryland. That is a cluster -- you drop from 70 MPH and make a hard 40 MPH left turn after descending a steep hill. Then throw in a bunch of city traffic merging on and exiting the interstate. It's so bad they've built massive concrete walls, so that when big rigs crash, they won't hopefully burn all of the downtown.

Automotive Fatalities per 100,000 population

Another way to look at automotive fatalities is how many people -- as a percentage of the population -- does it effect? It's great that people are able to drive a lot more miles nowadays without getting killed. But it turns out we've also seen that as a percentage of the population, automotive fatalities are much rarer. Many people still die in car crashes, but it's a much smaller fraction of the population then in previous decades. This graph also shows the dramatic improvements to automobile safety and driver education.

Data Source: List of motor vehicle deaths in U.S. by year.

It’s the Signs Schumer

"New York transportation authorities and the State’s incomprehensible system for marking height clearance, not the GPS, are to blame when big trucks hit bridges in and around New York State.

"A big truck, 13 foot 6 inches high, passes the MUST exit sign on I-278 in Brooklyn, NY, but has no fear, despite the low clearance sign, the road will accommodate the truck height."

"We were jolted to attention by a Road Dog radio report that New York’s Senior Senator, Charles Schumer, is demanding an investigation into big trucks hitting bridges. Schumer blamed driver misuse of GPSs for the 43 incidents last year of trucks hitting bridges on Long Island. He wants “nation-wide standards” for GPSs."

"Clearance signage has become so confusing in New York state that the DOT has now added the word “ACTUAL” to clearance signs to eliminate confusion. Most clearance signs are actually, ONE foot less than real clearance, sometimes."

"Yes, trucks hit bridges. But the problem in New York is that transportation authorities force trucks off the actual, safe truck routes onto secondary routes because the State has chosen to post clearance signs that are wrong. The posted clearance is ONE foot less than the actual clearance. It is confusing. It is dangerous."