Traffic deaths in the US had fallen every year since 2005, but that trend reversed course in 2012 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 2012 traffic deaths increased 5.3% over 2011 figures, making 2012 the deadliest year for drivers since 2008. The NHTSA estimates that 34,080 people died in car accidents last year in the US.
The NHTSA believes there are a few reasons for the increase in traffic fatalities. Motorcycles appear to be the biggest factor, for reasons including warmer winter weather, higher gas prices, and a reduction of helmet usage. Motorcycles are being blamed as a chief component of the increase in traffic deaths. Motorcycle accidents resulting in fatalities in 2012 increased 9% over levels from 2011; About 5,000 motorcyclists died in 2012 according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Only 19 states require mandatory motorcycle helmet usage.
The rebounding economy may also be another factor in the increase. With a better economy, more people are driving and more people are driving when they otherwise wouldn’t have to. Of course, with more people on the road, more accidents are bound to happen. According to the NHTSA, there were 1.16 deaths per 100 million miles driven in 2012, an increase from 1.10 in 2011.
Auto accidents resulting in deaths are still way down. 43,510 people died in traffic accidents in 2005 while only 34,080 died in 2012, a 26% decrease. In 2011, 32,367 victims died in road accidents, the lowest in 60 years.
Accidents happen. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car or motorcycle accident, contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker today at (800) 333-0000 for a free consultation.