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Posts Tagged ‘highway fatalities rise’

Americans Driving Farther – But Dying Faster – on U.S. Highways

Motorists clock record 3.15 trillion miles in 2015.

by on Mar.31, 2016

Americans set a new record for driving in 2015 with 3.15 trillion miles traveled.

Americans drove more than ever last year, clocking a record 3.148 trillion miles behind the wheel, according to new data from the Federal Highway Administration – but it appears that they’re also dying in larger numbers, with preliminary crash data showing a sharp reversal of a decade-long downward trend in highway fatalities.

The jump in the number of miles Americans are driving comes at a time of increased economic activity, particularly in the auto industry, which sold a record 17.5 million vehicles last year, a 5.7% increase over 2014. And while many observers had expected the numbers to flatten out this year, demand has maintained a torrid pace.

Come Along for the Ride!

Exactly why Americans are driving more is unclear, however, Federal Highway Administration spokesman Doug Hecox telling the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “We just know there are more cars out there and they’re going farther.” (more…)

US Highway Fatalities Surge 9%

Like two jumbo jets crashing each week.

by on Feb.05, 2016

After years of declines, highway fatalities were up through the first nine months of 2015 leaving officials scrambling to figure how to solve the problem.

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.

The Last Word!

“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…)