NHTSA Reports That Traffic Deaths Increased 10.4 Percent. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that traffic deaths increased 10.4 percent in the first half of 2016 compared to the same time period in 2015. In the first six months of 2016, 17,775 people died due to traffic-related events compared to 16,100 for the same period in 2015. The report noted that Americans drove more 3.3 percent more in 2016, 50.5 billion more miles. However, this increase does not account for the increase in deaths.
NHTSA did not identify a cause for the rise in traffic deaths. The agency stated, “It is too soon to attribute contributing factors or potential implications of any changes in deaths on our roadways,”
Unfortunately, the rise in traffic deaths seems to be an upward trend in recent years. The New York Times notes that the rate of traffic deaths has risen for seven consecutive quarters since the final months of 2014 compared to the corresponding quarters of previous years.
NHTSA Plans To Eliminate Traffic Deaths By 2046
The NHTSA has plans to eliminate traffic deaths by 2046, and recently announced its “Road to Zero” coalition. The initiative also includes plans to eliminate deaths in sidewalks and bicycle paths. Officials also have plans to help in the more foreseeable future. The Department of Transportation said it will give $3 million over the next three years to promote the use seatbelts, install rumble strips, and other preventative measures.
New technology, such as the introduction of driverless cars, will also play a role. In June, a driver was killed when his self-driving Tesla Model S electric sedan failed to brake, crashing into a tractor-trailer.
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