Crashes Were Up in 2016 Compared to 2015
A statistical projection of traffic fatalities for the first 9 months of 2016 shows that an estimated 27,875 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. This represents an increase of about 8 percent as compared to the 25,808 fatalities that were reported to have occurred in the first 9 months of 2015. The third quarter of 2016 represents the eighth consecutive quarter with increases in fatalities as compared to the corresponding quarters in the previous years.
The agency highlights cheaper gas prices, a strong economy, and climate change, among other factors. It does not yet know though, to what extent these factors specifically affect traffic fatalities.
The agency has pinpointed four main areas that are sources for the 2015’s traffic deaths: speeding, representing about 29 percent of fatalities; alcohol-impaired driving, about 31; no restraints, such as seatbelts, about 30; and distracted driving, about 11 percent.
These estimates may be further refined when the projections for the whole of 2016 are released in late March 2017.