Every year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) publishes statistics detailing the number of motor vehicle-related deaths that occur nationwide. Earlier this month the NHTSA released its preliminary estimates for 2015, and they’re not looking particularly sunny.
The NHTSA estimates that there were 35,200 fatalities on America’s roadways in 2015. This constitutes a 7.7 percent increase in fatalities compared to 2014. That’s the largest single-year percentage increase the NHTSA has seen since they began tracking nationwide fatality statistics. If their estimates are correct, that means 2015 was also the deadliest driving year since 2008.
Safety analysts have attributed the sudden rise in fatalities to a few different factors – most notably, an improving economy and falling gas prices. Now that Americans have more surplus income on hand and gas is no longer prohibitively expensive, they’re traveling and putting more mileage on their cars than they were a few years ago. NHTSA officials have also been quick to point out that, because 94 percent of car accidents are caused by human error, improved automated driving technologies could dramatically reduce accident fatalities in the future.
While these statistics aren’t exactly encouraging, they’re also probably not as dire as they might seem at first glance. Bear in mind that a decade ago, more than 40,000 Americans were killed annually in car accidents. Thanks to dramatic improvements in vehicle design and nationwide driver safety campaigns, that number has fallen steadily for the past 10 years. Last year’s rise in accident fatalities is certainly cause for concern, but it’s not necessarily a sign of a greater long-term problem.
Stay tuned for more updates from your premier source for automotive protection products – PermaPlate.