Traffic Deaths Up Sharply in 2015: DOT

Traffic Deaths Up Sharply in 2015: DOT

The agency estimates 35,092 people were involved in fatal traffic crashes in 2015.

According to NHTSA and DOT, 35,092 people were killed in traffic crashes in 2015, showing deaths rising across almost every segment of the population.

"Despite decades of safety improvements, far too many people are killed on our nation's roads every year," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Solving this problem will take teamwork, so we're issuing a call to action and asking researchers, safety experts, data scientists, and the public to analyze the fatality data and help find ways to prevent these tragedies."

Since 2005, traffic deaths have seen steady reductions until now. The two agencies, as well as the White House, have issued a call to action for stakeholders to determine the causes of the increase. NHTSA anticipates factors such as job growth and low fuel prices to be two reasons why, as they both contribute to an increase in driving overall.

Pedestrian and pedalcyclist fatalities also increased and motorcycle deaths increased over 8 percent. Almost halve of vehicle occupants killed were not wearing seat belts, while one in 10 fatalities involved a distraction.

"The data tell us that people die when they drive drunk, distracted, or drowsy, or if they are speeding or unbuckled," said NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind. "While there have been enormous improvements in many of these areas, we need to find new solutions to end traffic fatalities."

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