Traffic Deaths on the Rise
Surge in US traffic deaths outpaces increase in travel,
distracted driving and marijuana use may be possible factors.
According to the National Highway Safety Administration, US traffic deaths surged about 8 percent in the first 9 months of 2016. This continues an alarming upward spiral that may only partially be explained by additional Americans travelling more due to our nation’s economic recovery. Other contributing factors are: weather, distracted and impaired driving as well as passengers not wearing seat belts.
Drivers are travelling more road miles than ever, but the rise in deaths is outpacing the jump in vehicle miles travelled. The rise in miles travelled is about 3%. The rise in traffic fatalities is about 8%.
There were 27,875 fatalities in the first 3 quarters of 2016, compared to 25,808 fatalities in the same period in 2015.
The US Department of Transportation announced a plan late last year that will focus on increasing seat belt use on our roads as well as a nationwide education program designed to significantly reduce drunken and distracted driving.