Traffic Deaths Up Significantly This Year

NHTSA will hold a series of cross-cutting regional meetings across the country early next year to gather ideas, engage new partners, and generate additional approaches to combat human behavioral issues that contribute to road deaths.

Early estimates from the U.S. Department of Transportation show nationwide 2015 traffic fatalities through the first half of the year are up 8.1 percent from the same period a year earlier, causing DOT leaders to call for action and new ideas for reversing the trend.

At the same time, NHTSA reported there was a slight drop in U.S. traffic deaths in 2014 from the year before. NHTSA's Fatal Analysis Reporting System figures for 2014 show 32,675 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2014, a 0.1 percent decrease from the previous year.

"These [2015] numbers are a call to action," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Everyone with a responsibility for road safety – the federal, State and local governments, law enforcement, vehicle manufacturers, safety advocates, and road users – needs to reassess our efforts to combat threats to safety. USDOT will redouble our efforts on safety and we expect our partners to do the same."

NHTSA has launched a series of safety initiatives in recent months, including efforts to speed technology innovations that can improve safety and the agency's first comprehensive effort to fight drowsy driving. The agency announced it will hold a series of cross-cutting regional meetings across the country early next year to gather ideas, engage new partners, and generate additional approaches to combat human behavioral issues that contribute to road deaths. These meetings will address drunk, drugged, distracted and drowsy driving; speeding; failure to use safety features such as seat belts and child seats; and new initiatives to protect vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.

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