A new report on fatal car accidents in the United States shows that traffic safety may be heading in the wrong direction. The most recent year for traffic fatality statistics shows that fatal car accidents increased in 2012, according to a new report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The NHTSA reported that there were 33,561 fatal accidents in 2012. That is 1,082 more traffic fatalities than the previous year. The report noted that 72 percent of the increase in fatalities happened during the first quarter of 2012.
The report that fatal car accidents increased is disturbing as this is the first increase since 2005. The U.S. Transportation Secretary said that more work needs to be done to reduce traffic fatalities in the future, including special considerations for pedestrians and cyclists as more people are walking and biking.
2012 was not only a dangerous year for motorists but for pedestrians and motorcyclists too. Pedestrian fatalities increased in 2012 for the third straight year. Statistics show that many pedestrian fatalities happened in urban settings at night and involved alcohol. Motorcycle fatalities increased in 2012 for the third year too.
Another concern for safety groups is that fatalities caused by drunk drivers also increased. In 2012, there were 10,322 fatalities compared to 9,865 in 2011. Many of these crashes had drivers with almost double the legal blood alcohol concentration limit.
The report said that many fatal crashes that happened at night involved motorists who were not wearing their seat belts. In fact, the report said that in fatal night crashes, nearly two-thirds of individuals killed in crashes were not wearing seat belts.
The new report highlights several areas that the NHTSA will need to focus on during 2014 to try and reduce traffic fatalities. Drivers should also take this report to heart and make sure they always wear their seat belt, don’t drive drunk and pay attention to keep everyone safe on the road.