The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released fatal traffic crash data for 2016. Data was collected from all 50 states and the District of Columbia showing 37,461 lives were lost on U.S. roads in 2016, an increase of 5.6 percent from 2015.
The number of vehicle miles traveled on U.S. roads in 2016 increased by 2.2 percent, and resulted in a fatality rate of 1.18 deaths per 100 million miles travelled– a 2.6-percent increase from the previous year.
NHTSA found that distracted driving and drowsy driving fatalities declined, while deaths related to other reckless behaviours – including speeding, alcohol impairment, and not wearing seat belts – continued to increase. Motorcyclist and pedestrian deaths accounted for more than a third of the year-to-year increase.
The 2016 national data shows that:
• Distraction-related deaths (3,450 fatalities) decreased by 2.2 percent
• Drowsy-driving deaths (803 fatalities) decreased by 3.5 percent
• Drunk-driving deaths (10,497 fatalities) increased by 1.7 percent
• Speeding-related deaths (10,111 fatalities) increased by 4.0 percent
• Unbelted deaths (10,428 fatalities) increased by 4.6 percent
• Motorcyclist deaths (5,286 fatalities – the largest number of motorcyclist fatalities since 2008) increased by 5.1 percent
• Pedestrian deaths (5,987 fatalities – the highest number since 1990) increased by 9.0 percent
• Bicyclist deaths (840 fatalities – the highest number since 1991) increased by 1.3 percent
NHTSA continues to work closely with its state and local partners, law enforcement agencies, and the more than 350 members of the Road to Zero Coalition to help address the human choices that are linked to 94 percent of serious crashes. NHTSA also continues to promote vehicle technologies that hold the potential to reduce the number of crashes and save thousands of lives every year, and may eventually help reduce or eliminate human error and the mistakes that drivers make behind the wheel.