2015 Motor Vehicle Deaths Increased by Largest Percentage in 50 Years

A preliminary National Safety Council estimate shows an 8 percent increase year-over-year.

The National Safety Council's preliminary estimate is that U.S. motor vehicle deaths were 8 percent higher in 2015 than they were in 2014, which the organization says is the largest year-over-year percentage increase in 50 years. An estimated 38,300 people were killed on the roads while another 4.4 million were seriously injured.

"These numbers are serving notice: Americans take their safety on the roadways for granted," warned Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. "Driving a car is one of the riskiest activities any of us undertake in spite of decades of vehicle design improvements and traffic safety advancements. Engage your defensive driving skills and stay alert so we can reverse this trend in 2016." 

NSC says a stronger economy and lower unemployment are some of the biggest reasons why the fatalities rose.

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