After decades of relatively constant decline, U.S. highway deaths rose by a worrying 9% during the first nine months of 2015, according to federal safety regulators.
The increase comes at a time when auto recalls are running at record levels and as Americans spend more time on the road due to a recovering economy and plunging fuel prices. If the upward trend continued during the final quarter it would mark only the second time highway deaths were up for a full year during the last decade. At the current rate, Americans are dying on the road at the rate of two loaded 747s crashing every week.
“For decades, U.S. DOT has been driving safety improvements on our roads, and those efforts have resulted in a steady decline in highway deaths,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a statement. “But the apparent increase in 2015 is a signal that we need to do more.” (more…)