In 2015, a total of 35,092 people lost their lives in traffic accidents. On August 29, 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration made a press release calling for action to decrease the number of deaths on U.S. Highways. In 2005, there were 42,708 reported highway deaths nationally. The government suggests that programs to increase awareness to wear seatbelts and to reduce drunk driving have made a difference. Improvements in vehicle techology, such as airbags and electronic stability control, have also reduced traffic deaths according to the government.
Highway Fatalities Fueled By Growth
The government suggests that the recent increase is due to two factors–job growth and low gasoline prices leading to an increase in driving in general but also an increase in leisure driving as well as driving by teenagers. The data reported by the government shows that approximately half of all highway deaths while occupying cars involve a failure to wear a seatbelt. Also, nearly one in three fatalities involved drunk driving or speeding. USDOT plans to hold a special session at is Safer People, Safer Streets Summit on September 16, 2016.