Preliminary estimates from a Department of Transportation (DOT) study
indicate that highway fatalities in 2002 rose slightly over 2001 figures
and reached their highest since 1990.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA), some 42,850 people died on U.S. highways last year, up from
42,116 in 2001. However, the fatality rate per 100-million vehicle miles
traveled stayed the same at 1.51.
Fatalities in rollover accidents involving SUVs and pickup trucks
accounted for 53 percent of the increase in traffic deaths. In 2002,
NHTSA reports indicate that 10,626 people died in rollover crashes, up
4.9 percent from the previous year.