The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that there was a 9.3 percent increase in traffic deaths in the first nine months of 2015. This percentage represents a steep increase from 2014. Traffic deaths were on the decline overall from 2000 to 2014. The region including Kentucky had a 12 percent increase in traffic deaths in the first nine months of 2015, while the region encompassing Indiana had a 12 percent increase as well, although the NHTSA grouped the two states into different regions.
The NHTSA will continue to evaluate the factors contributing to rising traffic deaths, which may include:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Lower seat belt compliance
The agency estimates that more than 26,000 people died in traffic accidents in those first nine months of 2015. In the first nine months of 2014, there were 23,796 of such deaths.
While the NHTSA works to establish a plan to reduce traffic fatalities, we can all do our part to prevent these tragic accidents. Consider adopting these habits:
- Turn your cellphone to silent while driving and place it in the backseat or somewhere else out of sight
- Always plan ahead for an Uber, bus ride, cab or a sober driver, if you are going out
- Keep your vehicle in good shape, attending to routine maintenance to prevent blowouts, breakdowns and stalls
- Check the weather forecast before a storm, and avoid traveling in a storm when possible