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2016 Vehicle Related Fatalities Increase 5.6%

2016 Vehicle Related Fatalities Increase 5.6%

NHTSA reports somber back to back year of increases following the 8.4% in 2015

Author: FleetLogik/Tuesday, October 10, 2017/Categories: Featured, In the News, Resources

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There were 37,461 people killed in crashes on U.S. roadways during 2016, an increase from 35,485 in 2015. The 5.6-percent increase is lower than the 8.4-percent increase from 2014 to 2015 but represents the largest back to back increase since the early 1960’s.  Injury data is not yet published. 

Speed Kills

All vehicle types and classes saw increases in fatality rates.  Speeding-related deaths rose 4%, while deaths among vehicle occupants not wearing a seat belt increased 4.6%. Experts have long agreed that  speed is a top controllable contributor to accident fatalities.  Reaction time, stopping distance and crash severity exponentially increases with speed.  On a good note, both distracted and fatigued driving related fatalities decreased 2.2% and 3.5% respectively.   

State by State

In 2016, New York saw the largest improvement with 111 fewer fatalities. Florida and California had the largest increases, 236 additional fatalities each. All and all, thirty-eight States and the District of Columbia had more motor vehicle fatalities in 2016 than in 2015 similar to the results of 2015 over 2014.

Poor Driver Choices

With the exception of 2012 and the most recent two years there has been a downward trend in traffic related fatalities.  Ten years ago, there were 41,259 people killed in traffic crashes.  NHTSA cites safety programs that have  increased seat belt use and reduced impaired driving have substantially lowered the number of traffic fatalities over those years. Also vehicle advances such as air bags and electronic stability control have contributed to reduce traffic deaths. However, the most recent two-year increases have erased more than one-third of the ten year trend. 

The report noted 94% of all serious crashes are directly linked to poor driver choices.  NHTSA noted the agency will continue to promote technologies that “hold the potential to reduce the number of crashes and save thousands of lives every year, and may eventually help reduce or eliminate human error and the mistakes that drivers make behind the wheel.”

Full report can be downloaded at NHTSA


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2 comments on article "2016 Vehicle Related Fatalities Increase 5.6%"

Bob S

10/12/2017 7:34 AM

Great article- not so great news. Speeding is an area we need to focus on. We get the alerts and warnings, we are just not following up on it. Thanks for the reminder.


10/14/2017 4:31 PM

Thanks Bob S. Remember to support #slowdownsaves in your communications!

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