Motor Deaths in 2016 Estimated to be Highest in Nine Years

The data from the NSC represents the sharpest two-year climb in 53 years

Preliminary 2016 data from the NSC indicates that as many as 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes last year, according to a release from the agency. This is a 6 percent increase over 2015 and a 14 percent increase over 2014, the largest two-year jump since 1964. The estimate indicates 2016 might have been the nation’s deadliest since 2017.

An NSC survey hopes to identify the reasons the why this has happened, including 64 percent of drivers indicating they are comfortable speeding, 47 percent text manually or through voice control, and 13 percent driving while impaired by marijuana.

“Our complacency is killing us. Americans believe there is nothing we can do to stop crashes from happening, but that isn’t true,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “The U.S. lags the rest of the developed world in addressing highway fatalities. We know what needs to be done; we just haven’t done it.” 

The NSC has called for the immediate implementation of the following measures in order to keep drivers safe: Mandatory ignition locks for convicted drunk drivers, automated enforcement techniques for speeders, laws banning cell phone use, seat belt laws, and more.

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