Traffic Deaths in U.S. Feared to Increase to Highest Level Since 2007

By Paul Riegler on 18 August 2015
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Lower Fuel Costs, More Traffic to Blame

Traffic deaths in the United States are expected to hit their highest level since 2007, according to figures released by the National Safety Council.

Using a review of the first six months of the year, the group said that traffic deaths were 14% higher than in the same period in 2014. Serious injuries were up 30%.

In the period of January through June 2015, 18,630 people died in traffic accidents in the country, a 14% year-over-year increase, and 2.2 million were injured, a figure that is 30% higher than the previous year.

Based on these figures, the group said that total road deaths could exceed 40,000 this year, the first time the figure would reach that high since 2007.

“Follow the numbers: the trend we are seeing on our roadways is like a flashing red light – danger lies ahead,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, who heads the National Safety Council and is former chair of the National Transportation Safety Board.

The group blamed an increase in traffic, lower fuel costs, and people driving greater distances, noting that “an improving economy with lower gas prices and unemployment rates herald increases in vehicle miles traveled. Average gas prices are 30 percent lower than they were in 2014 and are projected to remain relatively stable heading into 2016.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)