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National Safety Council: US on pace for deadliest driving year since 2007

The National Safety Council estimates traffic deaths are 14% higher through the first six months of 2015 than they were during the same period in 2014, and serious injuries are 30% higher. From January to June, nearly 19,000 people died in traffic crashes across the US, and more than 2.2 million were seriously injured, putting the country on pace for its deadliest driving year since 2007.

“Serious injuries” are classified as those requiring medical consultation.

Costs are also up. The six-month estimated bill for traffic deaths, injuries and property damage is $152 billion— 24% higher than 2014.

While the high death and injury toll could be due to many factors, an improving economy with lower gas prices and unemployment rates herald increases in vehicle miles traveled. Average gas prices are 30% lower than they were in 2014 and are projected to remain relatively stable heading into 2016. This generally means an increase in traffic; more people can afford to drive, and many travel longer distances and take vacations.

Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council is a nonprofit organization the mission of which is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where it can make the most impact—distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety, prescription drug overdoses and Safe Communities.


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