According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the estimated number of traffic deaths rose by eight percent during the first nine months of 2016, continuing a rising trend since 2014.
During the first nine months of 2016, there were approximately 27,875 traffic-related fatalities, as opposed to the 25,808 deaths that were reported during the same time period in 2015.
Comparing these results, the number of deaths reported in 2016 equated to 1.15 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2016, while there were 1.10 deaths per 100 million miles traveled in 2015.
Although more drivers have been reported on U.S. roads, the number of traffic fatalities reported in 2016 surpassed the trend of additional motorists.
The NHTSA attributed a three percent rise in vehicle miles during the first nine months of 2016 to cheaper fuel prices and a better economy. However, traffic safety experts do not believe that an increase in drivers explains the rising U.S. auto fatality rate.
By separating all 50 states into smaller regions, the NHTSA was able to identify trends within each region. The six states comprising the New England region experienced a 20 percent increase in traffic fatalities during the first nine months of 2016.
However, the region that includes Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, and North Dakota, displayed only a one percent rise in traffic fatalities.
Other heavy traffic areas, such as New Yor