As many as 40,000 people died in automobile crashes in the United States last year, an increase of 6 percent from 2015 and the most since 2007, according to a preliminary analysis by the National Safety Council.
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An estimated 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes last year, the most since 2007, according to a preliminary analysis by the National Safety Council (NSC).
As many as 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes last year in the United States, an increase of 6 percent from 2015 and 14 percent from 2014, according to a preliminary analysis by the National Safety Council (NSC).
The early estimate figures, which include both passenger and commercial automobiles, would represent the largest two-year growth rate since 1964 and the most vehicle-related fatalities since 2007.
In addition, an estimated 4.6 million drivers and passengers were injured seriously enough to require medical attention in 2016, with an aggregate estimated cost of $432 billion, according to the NSC report.
NSC noted its estimates are subject to change as more data comes in throughout the early part of the year. The council uses data from the Center for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics, meaning that deaths occurring within 100 days of a crash and on both public and private roadways, such as parking lots and driveways, are included in the estimates.
“Our complacency is killing us. Americans believe there is nothing we can do to stop crashes from happening, but that isn’t true,” NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman said of the figures. “The U.S. lags the rest of the developed world in addressing highway fatalities. We know what needs to be done; we just haven’t done it.”
The report also included several suggestions for improving roadway safety, such as mandating ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers and better education about the nature of alcohol impairment; automated enforcement techniques to catch speeders; extending laws banning all cell phone use; expanding seat belt laws and enforcement; adopting a three-tiered licensing system for all new drivers under 21, as opposed to 18; accelerating development of automotive safety technologies with life-saving potential, including blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and adaptive headlights; passing or reinstating motorcycle helmet laws; and adopting comprehensive programs for pedestrian safety.