There was an eight-percent increase in traffic deaths in 2015, which is the largest annual increase in auto fatalities in 50 years, according to preliminary data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Approximately 35,200 people died in car accidents last year compared to 32,675 in 2014, while the most significant increase came for bicycle and pedestrian accidents. Early estimates reveal that nine of 10 U.S. regions experienced more traffic fatalities in 2015.
One explanation for the increase is that gas prices have fallen, so more Americans are out on the road, according to NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind. However, 94 percent of collisions can be traced to human error, so there needs to be a focus on improving human behavior and promoting enhanced vehicle technology that helps to prevent crashes, says Rosekind.
NHTSA Working to Reduce Traffic Deaths
The NHTSA is working on new tools to prevent behaviors that can cause traffic fatalities, including impaired driving, distracted driving and not using seatbelts, particularly for children. The NHTSA is also working on initiatives to prevent accidents involving cyclists and pedestrians.
When the NHTSA finalizes the data on traffic fatalities, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the NHTSA will be asking local and state officials, safety partners, advocacy groups, scientists and technology experts to help find data-driven solutions to reduce traffic fatalities and improve auto safety.
The Federal Highway Administration and the NHTSA are also working to implement safety performance measures, which would mandate that states and metropolitan areas set goals for reducing traffic fatalities.
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the Harrisburg auto accident attorneys at Schmidt Kramer today for your free consultation. We have proudly helped many car accident victims secure maximum compensation for their injuries.