2015 May End 8-Year Decline of Fatal Crashes in the U.S.
For the first time since 2007, there may be an increase in the number of fatal traffic collisions that have occurred on American roadways, according to regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In fact, based on the analysis of initial data from the first half of this year, regulators are reporting that:
- When comparing the deadly crash data for the first six months of 2014 with that for the same period in 2015, there has been at least an 8 percent increase so far this year.
- The incidence of fatal traffic accidents so far in 2015 has led to about 4.4 percent more traffic-related deaths this year (when compared to last year’s numbers).
Although these findings may change once the numbers are finalized (as the NHTSA has noted that the initial data can be “volatile”), officials are now interpreting this as a trigger for action. And they are hoping that others – including state lawmakers, transportation safety advocates and drivers themselves – start being more proactive about combatting the preventable negligence that often contributes to deadly traffic accidents.
Elaborating on this point, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has noted that:
[Everyone] needs to reassess our efforts to combat threats to safety. USDOT will redouble our efforts on safety and we expect our partners to do the same…NHTSA is accelerating its efforts to strengthen behavioral safety programs at the core of its mission, and state and local governments need to adopt strong laws and enforce them.
Why Behavior Safety Programs? Because Driver Negligence Is a Big Problem, Officials Say
Actually, officials have noted that “human factors” are the “critical cause” of about 94 percent of all traffic crashes that occur in the U.S. each year. And some of the most pervasive human errors that commonly lead to traffic-related fatalities include:
- Drunk driving, which contributes to about 1 in every 3 deadly traffic crashes in the U.S.
- Distracted driving, which has played a role in about 1 in every 10 deadly traffic accidents in the U.S.
- Drowsy driving, which has contributed to nearly 3 percent of the traffic-related deaths in the U.S.
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