Global car sales are up, but so are traffic fatalities

For the first time, car sales to top 90 million globally.

In 2017, global sales of passenger cars and trucks surpassed 90 million for the first time, according to the Wall Street Journal. Consider this a sign that there is still great interest and demand for conventional vehicles!

More than 25 percent of the cars sold last year were in China, and there was in increase in sales in Western European markets as well as Russia and Brazil. Despite the growth globally, the US has slowed when it comes to dealership traffic. Analysts think 2017 sales numbers won’t quite reach the records set in 2016 and expect production cuts in early 2018. We believe this is due to the purchase cycle – the typical owner keeps his or her vehicle for 11.6 years.

While greater global vehicle sales is a great thing, it still comes with challenges and potential problems. Growth like this finds regulators struggling and scrambling to make congested roads safe and clean. Governments around the world are working to create interest and demand in electric vehicles and vehicles with lower emissions. Currently, electric vehicles make up only 1% of all vehicles sold.

And in the US, there’s been a spike in traffic fatalities — more than 37,000 traffic fatalities are estimated to have taken place on U.S. roads in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — even with new driver-assisted technologies. The National Safety Council estimates more than 18,000 people were killed on US roads in the first half of 2017.

Will getting driverless-technology into vehicles solve these problems? Automakers seem to think so. They’ve been working non-stop on making self-driving cars happen. But most are really only in the initial phases of these projects, and we’re a long ways off from buying these cars and seeing them all over our roadways. Given how many people we see staring at tiny screens instead of the road, we aren’t surprised by the increasing rate of accidents.

Car Sales to Top 90 Million Globally for First Time Car owners are holding their vehicles for longer, which is both good and bad