Traffic Deaths up by 9% First Half of Year

1.; Friday, September 28, 2012

HEADLINE: Traffic Deaths up by 9% First Half of Year

Byline: Kate Harlow, Associate Editor

U.S. traffic deaths jumped by 9% in the first six months of this year, with a total of 16,290 traffic deaths reported.

According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Administration, this increase "represents the largest such increase during the first half of the year in recorded history." NHTSA started collecting data on crashes in 1975.

The previous record for the largest increase in traffic deaths in the first half of a year was in 1979, when numbers increased by 6.4%.

The total number of U.S. traffic deaths in the first six months of 2012 is the highest it as been since 2009, when the number totaled 16,527.

The jump was largely driven by an estimated 13.5% increase in fatalities during the first quarter, while the second quarter saw an increase of 5.3%, according to the report.

The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety are calling for the U.S. Department of Transportation to move forward with regulations to promote safety to reduce traffic deaths. In a statement, the group mentioned various areas they are concerned with and feel need further scrutiny, including the trucking industry.

"Truck safety regulations and studies to protect motorists and truck drivers from the dangers of heavy trucks, truck drivers being pushed to drive in excess of hours-of-service limits, and under-trained commercial drivers must move forward immediately."