of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA) reports crashes involving large trucks dropped from 5,282
in 2000 to 5,082 in 2001.
total number of people killed in highway crashes in 2001 was 42,116,
compared to 41,945 in 2000. Despite that statistic, motor vehicle
crashes in 2001 claimed the lives of fewer children ages 15 and
under than any time in record-keeping history.
the loss of more than 42,000 people is unacceptable, the news
about the nation's young people is positive," said U.S. Transportation
Secretary Norman Y. Mineta. "Clearly, parents and caregivers
are getting the message about the importance of proper restraints
for children of all ages."
The 2001 statistics
showed an increased risk of death and injury when drivers and
passengers do not wear seat belts or fail to have their children
properly restrained in child safety seats: 60 percent of the passenger
vehicle occupants killed in crashes last year were not restrained.