Traffic deaths have increased in New Hampshire for three years in a row, though the numbers remain below what the state experienced earlier this decade.
According to the state Highway Safety Agency, 137 people died in car crashes in New Hampshire 2008, eight more than the previous year. In 2006, 127 people were killed on New Hampshire roads. The figures include those who died at the scene of crashes, as well as those who died of their injuries up to 30 days later.
Despite the recent increases, the numbers are still considerably lower than they were a few years ago _ in 2005, there were 166 deaths, and in 2004 there were 171. But agency director Peter Thomson says he’s concerned that more than 20 percent of those killed last year were motorcyclists.
Higher gas prices last summer enticed more people to ride fuel-efficient motorcycles, but many new bikers don’t take safety courses, Thomson said.
Elsewhere, traffic fatalities fell in almost every state. Data compiled by USA Today found that fatalities rose in only four states, while 25 states had double-digit percentage declines in roadway deaths. The figures didn’t California, New York, Pennsylvania or Texas, however.
Thomson said his agency doesn’t have data yet on how many of the last year’s 137 deaths were related to alcohol or drugs, or victims not wearing seat belts. New Hampshire is the only state that does not require adults to wear seat belts.
Information from: The Telegraph
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