U.S. Traffic Deaths Rise for the First Time Since 2005

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U.S. Traffic Deaths Rise for the First Time Since 2005

For the first time since 2005, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that traffic deaths are on the rise. The agency reported that the highway deaths rose by 1,082 or 3.3% in 2012, compared to the previous year. The report showed that the increase came in the first quarter of last year and that the majority of the accidents included motorcyclists and pedestrians.

The number of deaths is still at a historic low, and before last year, deaths were at their lowest since 1950, according to NHTSA. There were also some significant trends pointed out regarding the study:

-Pedestrian deaths increased 6.4% in the last year and the number has been increasing for the past three years

-Motorcycle deaths increased 7.1% and has been increasing for the past three years

-Bicyclists deaths increased 6.5% and has been increasing for the past three years

-Many of the fatalities documented involved alcohol

-Fatal accidents involving drunk drivers increased 4.6% last year and most of these accidents involving alcohol the driver had a blood alcohol concentration of .15% or higher, which is nearly double the limit of .08%.

-The majority of the fatal accidents occurred at night.

The NHTSA reported that the increase is a reason for concern and with the trends and patterns they see they will work hard to change the behavior of motorists on the road.

Source: La Times, “U.S. traffic deaths up for the first time since 2005, safety agency says,” Jerry Hirsch, November 14, 2013.

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