The NHTSA estimates that traffic deaths in the US over the first nine months of 2012 have increased 7.1%.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that from the beginning of the year until September 30th, 25,580 people were killed in car crashes, almost 1,700 more compared with the same period last year. The 7.1% increase is the highest for a 9-month period since 1975, when the NHTSA first began to gather detailed crash data.
The NHTSA also says that during this period the number of miles traveled in the US also increased by 14.2 billion miles or 0.6%. The fatality rate from January to September increased 1.16% per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, compared with 1.09 fatalities per 100 million last year. one of the causes for this increase might be the warm winter, as traffic deaths increased by 13% during the first three months of the year, 4.7% in the second quarter and 4.9% in the third quarter.
“There is a relationship between the economy, gas prices, driving and fatalities. As the economy improves and gas prices decline, there is more discretionary driving. With more discretionary driving, there are more motor vehicle-related fatalities,” said GHSA spokesman Jonathan Adkins.