The estimated 35,200 individuals killed in motor vehicle fatalities on U.S. roads in 2015 is alarming to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and State Highway Safety Office members. This represents the largest year-over-year percentage increase (7.7 percent) since national record-keeping began.
Although that figure is well below the more than 40,000 people killed annually just a decade ago, each death on U.S. roadways is unacceptable, and, after many years of progress, this increase is troubling.
The solutions to reducing traffic deaths aren’t a mystery. They include strong laws coupled with highly-visible law enforcement and robust public education campaigns. By using these tactics, the nation saw a nearly 25 percent drop in the number of fatalities between 2005 and 2014, including a record low in 2011.
The GHSA is especially committed to keeping the most at-risk road users safe. While national data suggest an overall 7.7 percent increase in traffic 2015 fatalities, recent GHSA reports project even higher percentage increases for pedestrians and motorcyclists (10 percent each). As improving vehicle safety has increased the likelihood for passenger vehicle occupants to survive a crash, pedestrians and motorcyclists lack these same benefits and remain just as susceptible to serious injury or death in the event of a collision.
Working together with federal and private sector partners, the GHSA is confident that the right blend of enforcement, education and engineering solutions to turn the tide and once again move toward zero deaths on our nation’s roads.
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