The traffic fatality numbers from the first half of 2015 represent an estimated increase from the prior year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released the final numbers for 2014 traffic deaths, as well as the estimate for 2015, this week. The NHTSA cited the increase in calling for renewed efforts to combat the dangerous behaviors that contribute to so many fatal car and truck accidents. With an estimated increase in both the fatality rate and total fatality numbers, 2015 is on pace to reverse a long-standing general trend of safer motor vehicle travel.
Fatalities in car accidents saw a slight decline from 1997 to 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. During that same time period, motorcycle deaths increased by more than 100 percent. Motorcycle fatalities saw another increase in 2010. These numbers are part of what has prompted the Government Accountability Office to ask Congress to grant greater flexibility in using state grant money to help prevent motorcycle deaths.
In 2009, more than 7,000 fatal accidents occurred at intersections or were intersection-related, according to the Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration. That equaled more than 20 percent of the total fatal motor vehicle accidents that year. Intersection safety is a major area of concern all across the country, particularly in more congested places such as Chicago.
This post is the second in a series of posts on the four most common factors that contribute to motor vehicle accidents.