You are here:HomeNews CenterInsurance News2012Traffic Deaths Jumped During First Half of Year

Traffic Deaths Jumped During First Half of Year

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows a dramatic increase in traffic deaths during the first half of 2012, after six years of declines that led to the lowest level of fatalities in 60 years
October 11, 2012

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows a dramatic increase in traffic deaths during the first half of 2012, after six years of declines that led to the lowest level of fatalities in 60 years. Highway safety experts say that they cannot account for the recent increase, but most suggest that the economic recovery has led to more people driving.

Russ Rader, spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, said traffic deaths decline in a recession and the decline can be significant. According to Rader, people who lose their jobs or are concerned about becoming unemployed do not make as many optional trips and are less likely to drive at night or on weekends or go to parties or bars. Highway fatalities increased 13.4 percent in the first three months of this year, and the total for the second three months increased 5.3 percent, compared with the same periods in 2011. In the first half of this year, 16,290 people died in traffic crashes, 1,340 more than during the same period last year. Traffic fatalities began to decline before the financial crisis. In 2005, 43,510 people died. The number declined each year since, falling to 32,310 last year. The decline was attributed to increased use of seatbelts, more awareness of drunken driving, improvements in highway design and the installation of airbags and other advances in auto safety.

Filed under: