NHTSA Predicts Rise in Traffic Fatalities

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May 7, 2013—The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) early projections of 2012 U.S. traffic fatalities estimate that 34,080 people died in motor vehicle crashes.

The 2012 fatality prediction represents a 5.3 percent increase compared to the 32,367 traffic fatalities that occurred in 2011. The NHTSA said that marks the first year-over-year increase in traffic fatalities since 2005. The fatality rate had declined steadily by 26 percent from 2005 to 2011.

In addition, the NHTSA said traffic fatalities increased every quarter in 2012 compared to the same quarter in 2011. Fatalities increased by 12.6 percent during the first quarter of 2012, 5.3 percent in the second quarter, 3.2 percent in the third quarter, and 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter.

Data reported by the Federal Highway Administration revealed that vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 2012 increased by roughly 9.1 billion miles in 2012. The fatality rate per 100 million VMT for 2012 is projected to increase to 1.16, up from 1.1 in 2011.

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