Traffic Deaths Increase for First Time Since 2005: NSC

The National Safety Council estimates there were around 36,200 traffic-related fatalities last year.

There were approximately 36,200 motor vehicle deaths last year, a 5 percent increase from 2011 and the first increase since 2005, according to the National Safety Council. The preliminary estimate from NSC also shows a 5 percent increase in crash injuries that required medical attention, totaling 3.9 million.

"NSC is greatly concerned with the upswing in traffic fatalities on our nation's roads," said Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, in a post on the council's website. "Although we have improved safety features in vehicles today, we also have new challenges, especially as it relates to teen and distracted driving, that need to be addressed on a national scale. We must work together now to reverse this latest trend to prevent needless tragedy."

Total miles driven in the United States increased last year, likely because of the improving economy and the mild weather at the end of 2012.

The cost of the increase in fatalities, injuries, and accidents is an estimated $276.6 billion from lost wages, medical expenses, administrative costs, and property damage.

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