Traffic deaths are on the rise again, after a decade of decline.
U.S. government data shows that traffic deaths rose eight percent during the first half of 2015, with officials attributing the spike to a number of factors including lower fuel prices and an improving economy. Those reasons have led to more Americans on the roads and for longer driving distances.
According to the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Mark Rosekind, 94 percent of all crashes can be blamed on driver error. Rosekind wanted to point that out so that drivers aren’t mislead into believing all the recent recalls are playing a major role in increased fatalities.
NHTSA notes that distracted driving has become a bigger issue and is tied to at least 10 percent of the 32,675 traffic deaths in the U.S. last year. Rosekind suggested that the number could be higher, but it’s difficult to confirm distracted driving-related deaths.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, drivers in the U.S. traveled 3.5 percent more miles in the first half of 2015 to 1.54-trillion miles. Driving under the influence remains a major issue in the U.S., contributing to 9,967 deaths last year.