Published on October 6, 2016
The Transportation Department released preliminary estimates during a conference with the National Safety Council and other government and safety agencies, announcing that traffic deaths rose by an alarming 10.4%, just in the first half of this year. Traffic deaths have been increasing since 2014, but a sharp increase occurred last year, followed by another alarming increase in the first half of this year alone.
The focus of the conference revolved around establishing a plan to eliminate traffic deaths and injuries in the United States altogether, within the next 30 years.
“We have an immediate crisis on our hand, and we also have a long-term challenge,” stated the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Mark Rosekind.
Last year, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association Jonathan Atkins stated, “You’ve got low unemployment, low gas prices, and people are commuting more and driving more. Folks have got the money now to go to happy hours, football games, travel on the weekends, and that’s typically when fatal crashes occur. They’ve got the money to do these other activities that can lead to crashes.”
The further improving economy means that people are doing more driving on the United States road than ever before; according to the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. drivers hit a 1.58 trillion-mile record in the first half of 2016, which is a 3.3% increase compared to the same period last year.
In 2015, there were 35,092 traffic fatalities, which resulted in a 7.2% increase from 2014 to 2015. In the first half of this year alone, 17,775 people were killed on the road, while 16,100 had passed during the same period last year.
The Transportation Department announced set the budget for the “zero deaths” at $1 million a year, for the next 3 years. Department officials believe self-driving cars and other advanced technologies may ease the process, while fully-autonomous vehicles could potentially eliminate human error, which is a factor in 94% of crashes.
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Category: Car Accidents