According to the National Safety Council in 2012 US traffic deaths increased 5% to 36,200, the first rise over the past eight years.
Data also shows an increase in the number of miles driven in the US last year and a 5% rise in the number of crash injuries requiring medical attention to 3.9 million.
“NSC is greatly concerned with the upswing in traffic fatalities on our nation’s roads,” said Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Although we have improved safety features in vehicles today, we also have new challenges, especially as it relates to teen and distracted driving, that need to be addressed on a national scale.”
A car crash also represents a significant national cost in lost productivity and wages, administrative and medical expenses, property damage and employer costs. Last year the estimated costs of traffic deaths, injuries and property damage reached $276.6 billion, 5% up from 2011.
In December, the NHTSA said that traffic deaths in the US increased 7.1% during the first nine months of 2012, estimating that 25,580 people died in traffic crashes through September 30th, with 1,700 more people compared with the same period in 2011.