Over the last several decades, vehicle manufacturers have worked hard to make cars, trucks, and SUVs safer. From adding airbags throughout vehicles to changing the materials used to build them, they have made great strides when it has come to safety. Nevertheless, despite this, the National Safety Council—a nonprofit organization that uses data obtained from state authorities to issue reports about vehicle safety—is reporting traffic fatalities across the United States are actually on the rise. Through the first half of 2016, fatalities are up nine percent when compared to the first six months of 2015, and it seems that percentage is only going to continue to increase.
According to the NSC, there were about 19,000 people killed in traffic accidents in the U.S. from the beginning of January through the end of July. That is an 18 percent increase over the same period in 2014, and in addition to fatalities, the NSC is also reporting more than two million people were seriously injured in accidents through the first half of 2016. Additionally, the NSC is estimating, if the current trend continues, there could be more than 40,000 traffic fatalities in the U.S. in 2016. It would be the first time in the last 10 years the death toll eclipsed the 40,000 mark in a single year.
There has been no definitive explanation provided yet as for why the number of traffic fatalities is increasing so quickly. The NSC believes it could have something to do with low gas prices that are encouraging more people to drive. The organization also believes an increase in vehicles on the road could be playing a part in the rise of traffic fatalities. Regardless of the reason, it is clear fatalities are going to continue to increase in the coming months and years if steps are not taken to prevent them.