National Safety Council – highest level traffic deaths in almost a decade
According to estimates from the National Safety Council, a total of 40,200 people died on U.S. roads in 2016, the highest level in almost a decade. What is even more compelling is that the percentage of increase in 2014 and 2015 represents the sharpest two-year escalation in more than 50 years, the safety group said.
While the reasons for the increase are varied, the biggest problem is the public feeling like nothing can be done to reduce the number of deaths. “Our complacency is killing us. Americans believe there is nothing we can do to stop crashes from happening, but that isn’t true,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the NSC.
Surprisingly, the uptick in traffic deaths comes as more cars are being equipped with crash avoidance technology. To help combat the rise federal officials have announced initiatives aimed at reducing fatalities, including $1 million in annual grants.
The NSC is also calling for upgrading seatbelt and helmet laws and speeding up the development of autonomous technology.