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4/3/2013 - Highway fatalities increase for first time in years


Fatalities from highway driving rose in the first half of 2012, a report finds.

The National Safety Council recently came to a rather concerning conclusion regarding traffic safety in the first six months of 2012.

According to a report conducted by the non-profit, there were more highway fatalities on U.S. roads in the first half of last year versus the same period in 2011, marking the first time that motor vehicle deaths have increased in seven years, rising approximately 5% overall.

Janet Froetscher, CEO and president of the NSC, noted that these findings are a significant step back from the gains made over the past several years.

"NSC is greatly concerned with the upswing in traffic fatalities on our nation's roads," said Froetscher. "Although we have improved safety features in vehicles today, we also have new challenges, especially as it relates to teen and distracted driving, that need to be addressed on a national scale."

She added all Americans need to come together to reverse this troublesome trend and prevent crashes that shouldn't have ever occurred.

The increase comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that highway fatalities fell to their lowest level in more than half a century in 2011.

Ray LaHood, secretary for the U.S. Department of Transportation, noted that multiple factors played a role in the decline, including enhanced public education campaigns, reduced drunk driving incidents and advancements in car safety technologies. While the report indicated a decline, the overall financial implications cost nearly $277 billion, including auto insurance expenses, administrative payments and employer payouts – which is 5% more than 2011's total.


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