Preliminary Numbers Show Traffic Fatalities Rise in 2012

On behalf of Brown & Crouppen, P.C. posted in Motor Vehicle Accident on Friday, December 28, 2012

The decline in highway traffic fatalities over the last several years has been great news in the United States. Highway deaths have long been one of the leading killers of Americans, following only cancer and heart disease. In 2011, the number of individuals killed in motor vehicle accidents fell to 32,367. While this is still a painfully large number, it was a marked significant improvement from 2005, when there were 43,443 traffic related deaths.

The increase could be connected to the increase in miles driven, which went up by 14 billion miles between January and September. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) noted that numbers were preliminary and that the comparison was with 2011, which had the lowest number of fatalities in 60 years. One possible explanation was the warm winter of 2012 led to a longer motorcycle-driving season.

In recent years, part of the decline in motor vehicle fatalities was tied to the economic climate following the banking and mortgage crisis of 2008. When the economy cools, people dive less and as important, businesses order fewer good, meaning fewer trucks are on the nation’s roads, which translates in to fewer truck accidents.

As Americans drive more, traffic fatalities will increase, as more drivers on the road means more opportunities for accidents and deaths. In recent years, we have averaged around 3 trillion miles driven per year, so there are many opportunities for crashes.

Source: The Washington Post, “Traffic deaths increase in U.S.,” Ashley Halsey III, Dec 20, 2012

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