Traffic Deaths Show a Steep Rise for the First Time in Years

There was a sharp increase in traffic deaths during the first nine months of 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). What can you do to keep your employees safe on the roads?

Transportation secretary Anthony Foxx noted that for decades, safety improvements have resulted in a steady decline in highway deaths. “But the apparent increase in 2015 is a signal that we need to do more,” he said. NHTSA estimates that more than 26,000 people died in traffic crashes in the first nine months of 2015, compared to 23,796 fatalities during the same period of 2014. The estimated increase of more than nine percent follows years of gradual declines—more than 22 percent from 2000 to 2014.

Although NHTSA says it’s too early to pinpoint the causes of the spike in road fatalities, the agency is responding to this statistical red flag and not waiting for the situation to worsen. That means taking on new initiatives and addressing persistent issues like drunk driving and failure to wear seat belts.

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