The National Highway Traffic Administration has noted an uptick in traffic deaths for the first half (January-June) of 2012. An estimated 16,920 deaths in motor vehicle collisions have occurred in the first half of this half. This results in an increase of about 9% in deaths when compared with the 14,950 fatalities in the first half of 2011. The N.H.T.S.A. called this the largest increase during the first half of the year since the agency began collecting car crash data in 1975.
Why this increase? They are several speculated reasons. One, the past winter was mild, thus more people were driving more often. Two, the economy improved, thus more people were driving and driving more often.
Prior to this recent uptick, there had been a six-year decline in the fatality rate. The decline has been attributed to multiple factors including advancements in safety technology, safer roads, public awareness of safe driving techniques, and increased use of seat belts. Lets hope that this recent increase does not start an upward trend.