The Correlation Between Highway Deaths and the US Economy

60,000

(1972, 54,589)

US Highway Fatalities

55,000 50,000 45,000 40,000 35,000 30,000 25,000 1950

(2005, 43,510)

First (???)uptick in 2012 after six straight years of decline since 2005
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020

Time t [Calendar years]
Figure 1: The annual US highway fatalities (y) plotted versus time (t) in calendar years. Thus, the US traffic fatalities have been generally decreasing, after reaching a peak in 1972 (with 54,589 traffic deaths). However, we see short periods of increasing deaths, during this overall decline and ever increasing VMT over the years. Notice that this is NOT the “first” uptick recorded. There have been several such upticks since the overall decline began in 2012. The magnitude of the present uptick, from 32,367 in 2011 to the estimated 34,080 fatalities in 2012, an increase of 1713 fatalities per year, is quite high (based on historical standards) and must be closely watched.

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§1. Introduction
According to the early estimates by the NHTSA, see Ref. [1], traffic fatalities in 2012 went up to 34,080, the first such uptick after six straight years of decline, starting 2005, see also the compilation of Traffic Safety Facts, Refs. [2-5]. Indeed, an uptick in the traffic fatalities was registered during the first quarter of 2012, and continued through the year, leading finally to this most recent estimate by NHTSA, released in May 2013. The mild winter weather and the slowly recovering US economy, was believed to have been responsible for this recent uptick in the highway deaths. In other words, the steady chorus was that Americans are driving more, the Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) an important metric in traffic fatality studies, is increasing. This ultimately is related to higher incidence of crashes and therefore fatalities; see Refs. [6-10]. The decline in traffic fatalities in earlier years and the record lows achieved was also tied to the weak US economy, in the popular media, see Refs. [11-14]. Unfortunately, simple calculations, based on the reported early estimates of the fatalities (y = 34,080) and the fatality rate per 100 million VMT (y/x = 1.16), show that the VMT for 2012 equals 2938 billion which is lower than the VMT of 2946 billion for 2011. Hence, the American-are-driving-more line of reasoning falls flat and cannot be invoked to explain the most recent uptick in the traffic fatalities in 2012. This point has been discussed in detail in two recent articles, see Refs. [15,16], and also the earlier reviews of in traffic fatality in the US in Refs. [17,18] and the enactment of the National Traffic Safety Act in 1966 in response to the public outcry of rising US highway deaths, Ref. [19]. The US highway deaths have been declining, ever since, after reaching a peak of 54,589 deaths in 1972. Actually, this peak, and the subsequent decline in US traffic deaths coincides with the enactment of the National Speed Limit of 55 mph, following the Arab oil embargo in 1973 – which was meant to punish the US for its support of Israel during the Middle East War of 1973. The main purpose now is to call attention to the following interesting correlation between the US highway deaths and the fortunes of the US
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economy. Without getting into a detailed (and likely controversial) discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of the US economy, we will simply discuss how the US traffic fatalities have shown an uptick at various times over the last 40 years, while there has a steady decline in US traffic fatalities after the peak in 1972. A graphical representation of this traffic fatality data, obtained from the table provided in Ref. [4], for the years 1899-2009 and augmented by the data from Refs. [1-3], is presented in Figure 1. An interesting pattern emerges when we analyze the individual periods when traffic fatalities were rising as a function of time t in calendar years.
60,000

US Highway Fatalities

55,000

y = 2921.8t – 5,693,365 dy/dt = 2921.8 deaths/yr

50,000

45,000

40,000

35,000

30,000 1940

1950

1960

1970

1980

1990

2000

2010

2020

Time t [Calendar years]
Figure 2: The annual US highway fatalities (y) plotted versus time (t) in calendar years. Thus, the US traffic fatalities have been generally decreasing, after reaching a peak in 1972 (with 54,589 traffic deaths). However, we see short periods of increasing deaths, during this overall decline and ever increasing VMT over the years. Notice that this is NOT the “first” uptick. There have been several such upticks since the overall decline began in 2012.
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§2. Analysis of Upticks in Traffic Fatalities post-1972
Year (time t) Fatalities, y Change, ∆y Change, ∆t Rate of increase, (years) dy/dt (per year)

1961 36,285 1966 50,894 14,609 5 2921.8 1960 36,399 1972 54,589 18,190 12 1515.8 1975 44,525 1979 51,093 6,568 4 1642 1983 42,589 1988 47,087 4,498 5 899.6 1992 39,250 1996 42,065 2,815 4 703.75 1998 41,501 2005 43,510 2009 7 287 2012 34,080 20xx ? ? ? Will be < 287 The recent one-year uptick, between 2011 and 2012 equals an estimated increase of 1713 deaths per year, which is quite high in the above context, and should be watched closely. During the 1960s, when the US traffic fatalities were rising (an “epidemic” of US highway deaths as it was then perceived), the highest rate of increase was 2921.8 deaths per year. The “average” rate of increase, between 1960 and the peak year 1972 was 1515.8 deaths per year. During each subsequent uptick, after 1979, the rate of increase of deaths seems to be decreasing consistently as seen from the table above. This, indeed, is the reflection of various design improvements that have been made to our vehicles to make them safer, the better engineering of roads, various safety measures and laws that have been enacted, such as the mandatory seat belt laws. However, the important variable still remains the driver, that person behind the wheel, as is evident from the analysis presented in Ref. [16], where I have questioned the conventional wisdom of using the Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) as the metric. The discussion of traffic fatality data over the last six years, and more so during 2012 when the uptick started with the first quarter
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of 2012 is full of unsubstantiated opinions and wishful thinking about the Americans-are-driving-more argument perpetuated by the use of the VMT metric. Various fatality rates are compiled annually, see image extracted from page 2 of the Traffic Safety Fact 2011 (the latest year for which data is available at this time, May 20, 2013), but the fatality rate, based on the VMT has been popularized, perhaps, because it seems to make us feel good with its continuous decline year after year, even amid rising fatalities as we have just seen. When we use the fatalities per 100, 000 licensed drivers, on the other hand, it becomes obvious that the number of highway fatalities have NOT reached historic lows (relative to the peak of 54,589 deaths in 1972). The number of highway deaths is still too high relative to the trends that were established between 1966 and 1985, when we take into account the number of licensed drivers rather than the VMT; see Ref. [16].

The following prediction for the US fatalities in 2012 is possible if we consider the historical highs in the fatalities since the peak of 1972. The straight line joining 1972 and 1996 is used to predict the 2012 fatalities.
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Fatalities, y Fatalities, y (Actual) (Predicted) 1972 54,589 54,589 1979 51,093 50,936 1986 46,087 47,283 1996 42,065 42,065 2012 34,080 (estimated) 33,716 The straight line y = -521.83t + 1,083,644.3 joins the data for 1972 and 1996.

Year (Time, t)

60,000

US Highway Fatalities

50,000

40,000

30,000

Analysis of the downward trend in the “local” peaks in highway fatalities

20,000 1960

1970

1980

1990

2000

2010

2020

Time t [Calendar years]
Figure 3a: Analysis of the “local” peaks in the US highway fatalities (y) since 1972 yields the downward trend line indicated. The solid blue dot is the prediction for 2012, which is 33, 716 fatalities, higher than for 2011 but lower than the estimated 34,080 deaths.

In summary, the significant advances made in reducing US traffic
fatalities is highlighted here by computing the rate of increase of highway
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deaths, per year, during each of the sustained periods since 1972 when traffic deaths increased, amidst a general decline. This also calls into question the use of the fatality rate based on the ever increasing VMT (vehicle miles traveled). This appears to be a misleading statistics which is subject to a number of feel good interpretations which make for bad policy. The fundamental importance of considering the fatality rate per 100,000 drivers, also compiled by NHTSA in its annual Traffic Safety Facts, is also emphasized in this context. Finally, the recent one-year uptick, between 2011 and 2012 equals 1713 per year, which is quite high and should be watched closely.
60,000

US Highway Fatalities

55,000 50,000 45,000 40,000 35,000

1972-2005 peaks

1974-1992 troughs
30,000 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020

Time t [Calendar years]
Figure 3b: An alternative view of the “local” peaks and the troughs in the US highway fatalities (y) since 1972. Two downward sloping lines can be superimposed on to the data. Amazingly, these two lines are NEARLY PERFECT PARALLELS. The upper line joins the historical 1972 peak and the most recent peak of 2005. The equation of this line is y = - 335.727 + 716,643. The lower line joins the troughs for 1974 and 1992 with y = -330.333t + 697,274. The
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slopes h = - 335.7 and h = - 330.3 are virtually identical. The 2012 uptick thus falls between these two parallels, after duly considering all the historical trends. However, the year-on-year slope (the slope of the line joining the data for 2011 and 2012) is quite high and is equal to 1713 deaths per year, among the highest observed historically. The uptick for 2012 could have been anticipated since the decreasing fatalities observed between 2005 and 2011 was a “cascading” between these two parallels that has been witnessed historically.

Appendix 1: More historical analysis of the traffic fatalities data (1899-1966)
For completeness, the traffic-fatalities data from 1899 (first year for which data is available) to 1966, is presented here. No VMT data is available prior to 1921. In 1899, the number of deaths reported was 26 and increased to 36 in 1900, and to 54 in 1901. Thus, the number of deaths had increased by ∆y = (54 -26) = 28 in the additional time of ∆t = 2 years, or a rate of dy/dt = 14 deaths per year. But in 1902 the number of deaths reported was 79, and so the death had gone up by 25 per year, instead of 14 per year. Indeed, during these early years, the number of traffic fatalities increased at an accelerating pace, following the power-law model y = k(t –t0)n where t is the calendar year and t0 the reference year when the fatalities are taken to be zero and the exponent n > 1. The power model was discussed earlier in Refs. [15,16] to describe the nonlinear increase in the number of fatalities as VMT increases. Here, instead of VMT, time t is the variable being considered to discuss how fatalities increase. A good fit to the fatalities-time data, see Figure 4, is possible with the exponent n = 2.85 and constant k = 1.64 with the reference year t0 = 1898 makes 1899, the first year for which data is available as the year t = 1. An exact match is obtained for 1902, y = 79, if k = 1.525. However, the slightly
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higher value of k = 1.64 yields a much better fit to the data at higher values of time t. If the fatalities had continued to increase at this accelerating pace, the number of traffic deaths in 1937 would have exceeded the peak value of y = 54,589 deaths ever recorded in the US. Instead, the fatalities started deviating from this power-law curve and started increasing at a reduced rate, Figure 5.
60,000 50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000

US Highway Fatalities

10,000
0 1880

1900

1920

1940

1960

1980

2000

Time t [Calendar years]
Figure 4: The annual US highway fatalities (y) plotted versus time (t) in calendar years going back to 1899, the first year for which data is available. The accelerating rise in fatalities (which means dy/dt is not a constant and is increasing) can be described by the power law y = k(t – t0)n with n > 1 with t0 being the reference year for which we take fatalities y = 0. The choice of k = 1.64 and n = 2.85, provides a good fit to this early data. The US traffic fatalities start deviating from this curve after 1930-1931. If the accelerating pace had continues, the traffic death in 1937 would have exceeded the highest traffic fatality of 54,589 ever recorded in the US (in 1972).

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Year (time t) Fatalities, y

Change, ∆y

Change, ∆t Rate of increase, (years) dy/dt (per year)

1919 10,896 1931 31,963 21,067 12 1755.83 1921 13,252 1929 29,592 16,340 8 2042.5 1943 22,727 1951 35,309 12,852 8 1572.75 1983 42,589 1961 36,285 1966 50,894 14,609 5 2921.8 The recent one-year uptick, between 2011 and 2012, equals an estimated increase of 1713 deaths per year, is quite high in the above context, and should be watched closely. For 1921-1931, dy/dt = 1871.1 deaths per year.
70,000 60,000

US Highway Fatalities

50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000 0 1900

1920

1940

1960

1980

2000

2020

Time t [Calendar years]
Figure 5: The annual US highway fatalities (y) plotted versus time (t) in calendar years going back to 1899, the first year for which data is available. The accelerating rise in fatalities (which means dy/dt is not a constant and is increasing) can be described by the power law y = k(t – t0)n with n > 1 with t0
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being the reference year for which we take fatalities y = 0. The choice of k = 1.64 and n = 2.85, provides a good fit to this early data. Nonetheless, the power-law curve, because of it high slope, can be approximated by the nearly constant rate of dy/dt = 1755. 583 deaths per year, deduced from the data for the years 1919 and 1931, see table. Three other nearly constant and high slopes are deduced for the data, as seen from the graph for the years 1921 to 2012. The rather high single year rate of increase of 1713 per year, between 2011 and 2012 (still an estimate) should therefore be watched closely to see how the fatalities rise back up to the trend line revealed in the companion article (Ref. [16]) by considering both the fatalities-VMT graph and the fatalities-licensed drivers graph.

Highway death rates, dy/dt [Calendar years]

3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 1890

1900

1910

1920

1930

1940

Time t [Calendar years]
Figure 6: Large swings in the annual US highway death rates in the early years, 1900-1931. The two highest changes in the deaths (rates) recorded were 3281 deaths per year in 1923 and 3035 deaths per year in 1929. Finally, it is also of interest to note the wild fluctuations in the year-to-year fatality rates (dy/dt plotted as a function of time t in years) observed in the early years, see Figure 6. The highest recorded were 3281 deaths per year in
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1923 and 3035 deaths per year in 1929, both coinciding with the “roaring” twenties which was followed by the stock market crash and the Great Depression. Fundamental changes in the engineering and design of cars and roads, the direct byproduct of the National Traffic Safety Act of 1966, eventually lead to the decline in the fatalities observed after 1972. Nonetheless, the one-year uptick of 1713 deaths per year, between 2011 and 2012 must be closely watched.

Posted on my Facebook Page, May 20, 2013 around 3 PM
IF YOU DRIVE PLEASE PAY ATTENTION Over the last few days, I have posted a series of articles analyzing the recent US highway fatalities (2000-2012), mainly because NHTSA has announced (this month, in May 2013) that US highway fatalities went up to 34,080 in 2012 compared to 33,267 in 2011. The difference of 1773 deaths is a HUGE difference; hence I started looking at the numbers. I have been analyzing US highway fatalities since 2000. It is indeed amazing that a mathematical equation that I derived in 2000 predicts the trends for the last 12 years quite well. This is described in the following article (links given below). Now, please pay attention to this. The uptick in the US highway fatalities will be closely scrutinized. After considering all of the historical trends, since 1899, I can say that the latest increase signals something important. So, please pay attention if you are on the road. Remember also that fatal crashes are NOT necessarily crashes that involve speeding. There are many fatal crashes where no one is legally speeding. Last year a family from the Metro Detroit Indian (Telugu) community lost a father and a grandfather, and friends. Both daughter-in-law and mother-inlaw were widowed on the same day. It involved a crash in the early morning hours, with one car driving the wrong way on Lodge Freeway (was going
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south in the northbound lanes). After I read the tragic news, I posted immediately that this must be due to a DRUNK Driver. I sent an email to several friends on my email lists - warning about being on the road, on weekends, at that hour... It was the Christmas to New Year Party season then. Two days later, the same was confirmed! Police reported that the driver who was responsible for the crash was totally drunk - well above the legal blood alcohol limit. No one was speeding but 6 (or may be 5) lost their lives. This drunk driver belonged to the Russian immigrant community. Why any one of his friends let him drive after partying and getting drunk is a mystery to me. I mention the immigrant nationalities here since it shows a certain lack of awareness of cultural norms. No American would have let a friend drive if he/she was drunk. I see new patterns emerging in the US highway fatalities. I have already debunked the theory that it is due to an improving economy with more drivers on the road - the so-called increase in the VMT metric (Vehicle Miles Traveled). This is a mathematical impossibility. Americans did NOT drive more in 2012 compared to 2011 but that was the chorus throughout the year after the first quarter 2012 results showed a huge uptick in the fatalities, the highest ever for the first quarter. All news media articles talked about the weather - the mild winter - and slowly improving economy and propagated the Americans are driving more myth. Baloney, as they say in choice Queen’s English, and mathematically impossible too, given the final estimated values for 2012. So, PLEASE PAY ATTENTION ON THE ROAD. My suspicion is a new pattern of fatalities - a huge increase in fatal crashes when no one is legally speeding. This is due to the modern phenomenon of distracted driving - texting, cellphone use, hands-free conversations, music, etc. Do not turn your car into an office on wheels!

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It is YOUR life and that of your dear ones. Please read and share. Here is the link to the articles I posted. You can find other related articles there in the same website (total of five, Refs. [15-19]). http://www.scribd.com/doc/142526685/The-Correlation-BetweenHighway-Deaths-and-the-US-Economy

Reference List
1. Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities in 2012, Traffic Safety Facts, May 2012, NHTSA DOT HS 811 741 http://wwwnrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811741.pdf 2. Traffic Safety Facts 2011 Data, Overview, DOT HS 811 753, http://wwwnrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811753.pdf Table 1 here provides the fatalities and VMT data for 2002-2011 while 2012 data is obtained from Ref. [1]. 3. Traffic Safety Facts 2011, A Compilation of Motor Vehicle Crash Data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and General Estimates System (GES), DOT HS 811 754, http://wwwnrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811754AR.PDF The data being analyzed in this article were obtained from Chapter 1 of this annual report (the latest available as of this writing). 4. Analysis of Decline in Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities, http://wwwnrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811346.pdf Also, appendix table of fatalities since 1899-2009 (Page 31 of report). 5. Analysis of the Significant Decline in Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities in 2008, Transportation Research Board, http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/163929.aspx 6. US fatalities soar 13.5 percent in first quarter of 2012, by Jim Barnett, CNN, http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/23/travel/us-traffic-fatalities "While it
is likely not the only factor involved, AAA agrees that warmer-than-average winter weather may have contributed to higher vehicle miles traveled, and ultimately more fatal crashes," said Jacob Nelson, director of traffic safety advocacy and research with the Automobile Association of America. "These data show there is more work to be done to improve driver safety such as limiting distractions, reducing impaired driving and promoting a culture of safety among motorists." ..If the

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current estimates hold, the first quarter numbers would represent the second largest year-to-year quarterly increase in traffic fatalities since the government began recording them in 1975.

Traffic fatalities in the United States peaked in 1972, with 54,589 killed, according to the Department of Transportation. But since then, there has been stricter enforcement of driving laws and programs to change driving behavior that have helped improve roadway safety. Preliminary data reported by the Federal Highway Administration shows vehicle miles traveled in the first three months of 2012 increased by about 9.7 billion miles, 1.4% more than 2011. "After reaching a 60-year low last year, it is disappointing for AAA to see driver fatalities rise," Nelson said in a written statement. "Examination of federal data show that traffic crashes occur more frequently as the number of miles traveled increases."

7. US Death spike in 2012 after tumbling last year, Exhaust Notes, Dec 10, 2012, by Claire Martin, http://editorial.autos.msn.com/blogs/autosblogpost.aspx?post=6ba9947b -1a9e-43bd-b752-476d7777e559 New statistics released by the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration reveal a yo-yo in traffic deaths over the past two years. While fatalities dropped to 32,367 in 2011 -- the lowest level since 1949 -- they jumped by 9 percent in the first half of 2012. What gives? Americans are driving more this year, to put it simply. "In 2011, travel on U.S. roads fell to its lowest level since 2003," David Shepardson writes in The Detroit News. "Last year, U.S. drivers logged 35.7 billion fewer miles over 2010, down 1.2 percent to 2.963 trillion miles." But this year, we're making up for that lost road time. According to NHTSA, drivers logged 15.6 billion more miles behind the wheel in the first six months of 2012, the latest numbers available. That's a 1.1 percent increase. Balmy weather in the first three months of 2012 was likely a factor. As more motorists took advantage of the improved driving conditions, there was a 13.4 percent uptick in fatalities. Fatality rates for the first six months of the year hit their highest levels since 2009; the increase was the most dramatic since 1979.

8. US Traffic fatalities Rise for the first time since 2005, The Car Connection, Feb 25, 2013, http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2013/02/25/u-straffic-fatalities-rise-for-first-time-since-2005/ Projection by National Safety Council (NSC), a non-profit organization, as opposed to NHTSA, a government agency. NSC figures include traffic fatalities on private property, not just public roads. NHTSA identified several key areas of concern:
  

Big rigs, where occupancy fatality rates surged 20% in 2011. Motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians, which all saw greater numbers of deaths. Distracted driving, a growing problem that was the cause of 3,331 fatalities in 2011.

AAA also suggested that America’s crumbling roads might be partially to blame for the increase.
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NSC identifies similar problems, and also notes that Americans are driving more. Thanks to a recovering economy (which has increased the number of commuters) and a mild 2012 winter, more motorists were on the road last year. And typically, more people on the road means more accidents — and likely, more fatalities.

9. Safety Council: Traffic Deaths Surged in 2012, http://news.msn.com/us/safety-council-traffic-deaths-surged-in-2012 The
council and other safety advocates attribute the increase in part to more driving due to an improved economy and a mild winter last year.

10. US road deaths climbing again after years of decline, new data show, by Paul A. Eisenstein, “There is a relationship between the economy, gas prices, driving
and fatalities,” noted Jonathan Adkins, deputy executive director of the Governors Highwa y Safety Association. “However, the increase can’t be explained solely because of an improving economy and more discretionary. Yet to be seen is whether increased freeway speed limits are implicated. But despite some concerns as states continue to relax those limits – Texas opening the nation’s fastest roadway, at 85 mph, this autumn. However, previous years showed little direct linkage, the death toll dropping even as most states had approved steadily higher speeds.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/21/16070501-us-roaddeaths-climbing-again-after-years-of-decline-new-data-show?lite 11. The recession’s silver lining: fewer traffic fatalities in 2009, by Michael Dresser, Baltimore Sun, March 12, 2010 http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2010-03-12/news/balmd.cm.traffic12mar12_1_traffic-fatalities-highway-deaths-traffic-deaths 12. US Highway Deaths lowest since 1961, by Ken Thomas, Associated Press, http://www.saferoads.org/us-highway-deaths-lowest-levels-1961 The
recession and $4 per gallon gas meant people drove less to save more. Experts also cited record high seat belt use, tighter enforcement of drunken driving laws and the work of advocacy groups that encourage safer driving habits. Preliminary figures being released by the government Monday show that 37,313 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes last year. That's 9.1 percent lower than the year before, when 41,059 died, and the fewest since 1961, when there were 36,285 deaths.

13. U. S. Traffic Fatalities Hit Historic Low, by Richard Read, Mar 10, 2010, http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1043314_u-s-traffic-fatalitieshit-historic-lows The DOT attributes the drop in traffic fatalities to high-profile campaigns
that encouraged wearing seat belts and discouraged drunk driving. We imagine that the reduction is also due to safety improvements introduced by automakers themselves, like those found on the new Mercedes-Benz S400 hybrid and its ESF Safety Car. However, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and many others know that new problems lay on the horizon -- particularly those of texting, taking phone calls behind the wheel, and other forms of distracted driving.

14. US Traffic Fatalities Plummet: But Why? By Michelle Ernst, Sep 23, 2010, http://blog.tstc.org/2010/09/23/u-s-traffic-fatalities-plummet-but-why/
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The consensus seems to be that multiple factors are contributing to the decline. Americans are driving less as a result of the spike in gas prices and the great recession, but this does not appear to explain the entire decline. In 2008, total vehicle miles traveled fell by 1.9 percent nationwide, but in 2009 VMT actually increased by 0.2%. There is some evidence to suggest that the recession and gas price fluctuations has changed the type of driving that Americans are doing — fewer recreational trips (which are more likely to involve alcohol), fewer trips by young drivers (who are more likely to be squeezed by higher gas prices and more likely to be out of work), slower travel speeds as drivers try to conserve gas, etc. Greater use of graduated licensing laws may also be making a dent, given that young male drivers are responsible for a disproportionate share of traffic deaths.

15. Highway Fatalities Trend shows it first uptick in Six Years: Predicting the Crossover with Firearms Deaths, Published May 18, 2013, http://www.scribd.com/doc/142199172/Highway-Fatalities-TrendShows-Its-First-Uptick-in-Six-Years-Predicting-Crossover-with-FirearmsDeaths 16. Is the Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) Even the Proper Metric to Determine US Traffic Fatality Rates? Published May 20, 2013, http://www.scribd.com/doc/142475957/Is-the-Vehicle-Miles-TraveledVMT-Even-the-Proper-Metric-to-Determine-Traffic-Fatality-Rates 17. Does Speed Kill? Forgotten US Highway Deaths in the 1950s and 1960s, August 3, 2012, http://www.scribd.com/doc/101982715/DoesSpeed-Kill-Forgotten-US-Highway-Deaths-in-1950s-and-1960s 18. The Effect of Speed Limits on Fatalities and Texas Proofing of Vehicles, August 3, 2012, http://www.scribd.com/doc/101983375/Effect-of-Speed-Limits-onFatalities-Texas-Proofing-of-Vehicles 19. The Correlation Between Highway Deaths and the US Economy, Published May 20, 2013, http://www.scribd.com/doc/142526685/TheCorrelation-Between-Highway-Deaths-and-the-US-Economy 20. National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Traffic_and_Motor_Vehicle_Safety_Act

21. Top 10 Presidential influences on the auto industry, http://www.forbes.com/pictures/ehmk45ielk/6-highway-safety-act-andnational-traffic-motor-vehicle-safety-act-1966-lyndon-johnson-2/ 22. US Department of Transportation: Office of the Historian, http://ntl.bts.gov/historian/chronology.htm
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23. Bibliography, Articles on Extension of Planck’s Ideas and Einstein’s Ideas beyond physics, Compiled on April 16, 2013, http://www.scribd.com/doc/136492067/Bibliography-Articles-on-theExtension-of-Planck-s-Ideas-and-Einstein-s-Ideas-on-Energy-Quantum-totopics-Outside-Physics-by-V-Laxmanan 24. Deformation of semi-solid Sn-15Pct Pb Alloy, by V. Laxmanan and M. C. Flemings, Metallurgical Transactions A, Dec 1980, vol. 11 pp. 1927-1937, see http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF02655112?LI=true 25. The Deformation and Rheological Behavior of Partially Solid Tin-15% Lead Alloy, Sc. D. Thesis Dissertation, by V. Laxmanan, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass (1979). 26. Tesla Motors: Nonlinear Analysis for Profitability, Published Feb 28, 2013, http://www.scribd.com/doc/127767159/Tesla-Motors-NonlinearModel-for-Profitability-Analysis 27. Tesla Motors Profits (Losses)-Revenues Analysis and a New Measure for Profitability, Published February 26, 2013, http://www.scribd.com/doc/127436107/Tesla-Motors-Profits-LossesRevenues-Analysis-and-a-New-Measure-of-Profitability-MPR 28. American Gun Deaths to Exceed Traffic Fatalities by 2105, by Chris Christoff and Ilan Kolet, Dec 19, 2012, Bloomberg News, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-19/american-gun-deaths-toexceed-traffic-fatalities-by-2015.html Graph of crossover for firearm deaths. 29. Gun Deaths to Surpass deaths in Traffic Accidents by 2015: report, by Philip Caulfield, New York Daily News, Dec 19, 2012 http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/gun-deaths-outpace-trafficdeaths-2015-report-article-1.1223721 30. Death rates from guns, traffic accidents converging, by Kelly Kennedy, USA Today, Dec 21, 2012 http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/01/09/guns-trafficdeaths-rates/1784595/ Deaths from traffic accidents have dropped dramatically over the
last 10 years, while firearm-related fatalities rose for decades before leveling off in the past decade, a USA TODAY analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows. Meanwhile, the rate of firearms deaths has exceeded traffic fatalities in several states, including Arizona, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Michigan, Nevada and Oregon, records show. The rate is Page | 18

equal in Ohio and Pennsylvania. In the United States in 2010, the rate of firearm deaths was 10 people per 100,000, while for traffic accidents it was 12 per 100,000. Firearm-related deaths totaled 31,672 in 2010.

31. Money in Economics is Just like Energy in Physics, Published January 14, 2013, http://www.scribd.com/doc/120324960/Money-in-Economicsis-Just-like-Energy-in-Physics-Extending-Planck-s-law-beyond-Physics 32. Bibliography of Articles on the Extension of Planck’s Ideas and Einstein’s Ideas on Energy Quantum to Topic Outside Physics, by V. Laxmanan, Published April 17, 2013, http://www.scribd.com/doc/120324960/Money-in-Economics-is-Justlike-Energy-in-Physics-Extending-Planck-s-law-beyond-Physics

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About the author V. Laxmanan, Sc. D.
The author obtained his Bachelor’s degree (B. E.) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Poona and his Master’s degree (M. E.), also in Mechanical Engineering, from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, followed by a Master’s (S. M.) and Doctoral (Sc. D.) degrees in Materials Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA. He then spent his entire professional career at leading US research institutions (MIT, Allied Chemical Corporate R & D, now part of Honeywell, NASA, Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), and General Motors Research and Development Center in Warren, MI). He holds four patents in materials processing, has co-authored two books and published several scientific papers in leading peer-reviewed international journals. His expertise includes developing simple mathematical models to explain the behavior of complex systems. While at NASA and CWRU, he was responsible for developing material processing experiments to be performed aboard the space shuttle and developed a simple mathematical model to explain the growth Christmas-tree, or snowflake, like structures (called dendrites) widely observed in many types of liquid-to-solid phase transformations (e.g., freezing of all commercial metals and alloys, freezing of water, and, yes, production of snowflakes!). This led to a simple model to explain the growth of dendritic structures in both the groundbased experiments and in the space shuttle experiments. More recently, he has been interested in the analysis of the large volumes of data from financial and economic systems and has developed what may be called the Quantum Business Model (QBM). This extends (to financial and economic systems) the mathematical arguments used by Max Planck to develop quantum physics using the analogy Energy = Money, i.e., energy in physics is like money in economics. Einstein applied Planck’s ideas to describe the photoelectric effect (by treating light as being composed of particles called photons, each with the fixed quantum of energy conceived by Planck). The mathematical law deduced by Planck, referred to here as the generalized power-exponential law, might
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actually have many applications far beyond blackbody radiation studies where it was first conceived. Einstein’s photoelectric law is a simple linear law and was deduced from Planck’s non-linear law for describing blackbody radiation. It appears that financial and economic systems can be modeled using a similar approach. Finance, business, economics and management sciences now essentially seem to operate like astronomy and physics before the advent of Kepler and Newton. Finally, during my professional career, I also twice had the opportunity and great honor to make presentations to two Nobel laureates: first at NASA to Prof. Robert Schrieffer (1972 Physics Nobel Prize), who was the Chairman of the Schrieffer Committee appointed to review NASA’s space flight experiments (following the loss of the space shuttle Challenger on January 28, 1986) and second at GM Research Labs to Prof. Robert Solow (1987 Nobel Prize in economics), who was Chairman of Corporate Research Review Committee, appointed by GM corporate management.

Cover page of AirTran 2000 Annual Report
Can you see that plane flying above the tall tree tops that make a nearly perfect circle? It requires a great deal of imagination to see and to photograph it.

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