Traffic deaths up 8% in 2015 after dropping last year
Traffic deaths rose by 8.1 percent in the first six months of 2015 after dropping slightly last year. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx called the numbers a call to action, and NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said the increase was unacceptable. NHTSA experts did say that partial-year estimates are more volatile and subject to revision, but the estimated increase represents a troubling departure from a general downward trend.
It is time as a nation to reinvigorate the fight against drunk and drugged driving, distraction and other risks that kill thousands every year, said Rosekind. The widespread use of cellphones while driving is one possible factor, and Rosekind called on states to enact and expand laws banning use of a hand-held phone while driving. Distracted driving accounted for 10 percent of traffic deaths in 2014. He also noted that the increase in jobs and decrease in fuel prices could have led to more young people driving, which can contribute to more deaths on the road.Download Bulletin PDF