Less than two weeks ago, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 2011 traffic fatalities had declined by nearly 2 percent – to the lowest level in more than six decades. Now comes word that the first nine months of 2012 haven't been nearly as positive. According to the government agency's preliminary estimates, traffic deaths through September of this year have risen 7.1 percent when compared to last year's figures – the largest increase for that calendar period since NHTSA began keeping records.

Safety experts point out that US vehicle miles traveled from January 2012 through September 2012 increased by 14.6 billion miles (a 0.6-percent rise) over the same period last year. Those adding up the numbers say that many factors are to blame. Warm weather also increases the quantity of motorcyclists on the road and pedestrians on the sidewalks. A drop in gas prices and an improved economy also means consumers are more likely to drive outside of their daily commute.

Ending on a positive note, today's estimated fatality rate of 1.16 deaths per 100 million miles traveled is still down 21 percent when compared its recent high of 1.45 deaths per 100 million miles in 2005.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      What an interesting article...hold on, the light changed. Okay, I'm back. As I was saying...
        • 2 Years Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's not the miles traveled or the number of motorcycles or pedestrians, IT"S THE PHONES PEOPLE!!!
        • 2 Years Ago
        Right, I see accidents almost daily caused by texting and talking. Very dangerous. And most ot the people texting are not very inexpericed drivers.n
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ban cars and blame the ones that sold these people the cars for the accidents. That's what everyone does with guns. Just saying.
      Jeremy Baran
      • 2 Years Ago
      We need to ban cars. Damn cars are killers. We need to look at bikes too, they should probally be banned. Skateboards, roller skates, and any mode of travel other than our two feet. Wait walking should be banned too. Dont forget planes, Crazies used them as a weapon, not actual airline pilots. People set on hurting people will find the means to make it possible. We should ban people!!!
      • 2 Years Ago
      It seems that laws against cell phone use while driving has had little to no effect on traffic deaths. Yet the liberals will tell you that more gun laws will curb murders. What they can't get thru there heads, is that laws only effect those who obey them.
        • 2 Years Ago
        I bet if each county, state, and the feds change the laws on cell phone use while driving that the first tickets costs $500.00, the second $1000.00, andthe third a mandatory 6 months in jail, that people will get the message. Passing a law with no teeth in the bite only encourages people to attempt fate. Stick it to them hard and watch the ruckus begin
      • 2 Years Ago
      Too many bans, not enogh commen sense.
      • 2 Years Ago
      cell phones & drinking will kill you or someone else every time.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Do you really want to lessen accidents? Ban cell phones for a start... first offense $500, second offense $1K plus off the road for 90 days, third offense...license revoked for three years. And that's just a start. Check out the European requirements and cost for a drivers license . Require everyone to take a course on car control in a track day environment... you fail, no license. The average American is doing all they can to keep it between the lines at 60 mph, without distractions. They drive with their brakes, not with the steering wheel or throttle. Also, their focal point is the tail of whatever is in front of them. Use your eye to look ahead, you idiot! Bottom line...you can't drive son...ride a bike
      • 2 Years Ago
      I agree! Ban all cars....Cars are killers waiting to happen. They drive gang bangers to drive by shootings, allow drunks to get them drunk before moving, have no heart (is a carb its heart?) and treats people with disrespect, etc, etc, etc! Ban them all, I say. We should start a petition and send it to the White House banning these murderous machines, right along with the petition to ban all knives, can openers, guns, but especially the oldest killer in mankinds history....The tree branch (which are now baseball bats).
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ban cars, phones and drivers immediately. These are senseless killings. I guess banning texting, antilock breaking systems, airbags, bluetooth systems cannot take the stupidity out of humanity.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Next they'll blame it on people reloading their guns while driving...
      • 2 Years Ago
      Take the cell phones away. After driving in holiday season traffic, I was ready to start ramming morons that can't talk and drive. There is a lot of idiots out there that can't do two things at the same time. I don't think a lot of them are capable of chewing gum and driving at the same time.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Someone could create a thing were it disables cell phones from working in cars.
        • 2 Years Ago
        no mention of cell phones, you are just putting that in based on your own assumptions...the difference noted in the article was more cars on the road...you used a very poor science and yet you received so many thumbs up despite this FATAL ERROR in your reasoning - to assume causal relationships ESPECIALLY to introduce another cause out of the blue. I hope no one is talking on a cell phone while reading this because their brain may explode.
          • 2 Years Ago
          Cathi, just because the writer of this story didn't mention cell phones or text messages, doesn't mean that those are not factors in the increase of traffic fatalities. If anything, they may become one of the major causes along with drunk driving, speeding, driving while distracted of driving when you are falling asleep. When you add the increased volume of cars on the road, you also increase the chances that driving while distracted will cause and accident. I am willing to bet that some readers here have seen articles in print and on tv reporting teens mostly though adults also have been involved in traffic fatalities due to either cell phone use and texting while driving.
      • 2 Years Ago
      People drive like idiots. I recently had a woman in front of me turn right onto a street and make a u-turn in front of me. I had to run off the road on the other side of the highway to keep her from creaming me. I still don't know how I missed being hit except for the grace of God. She apologized by saying she was late for a doctor's appointment. Folks act like they are the only ones on the roads. I'm surprised there are not twice as many accidents and deaths as there are. Some think they are driving phone booths; others typewriters (texting) and others tanks. Young people are so busy talking to others in their cars that they stop at a stop sign and don't even look to see if there is anything coming. Had that happen to me recently also. People act like they think they can't get hurt or die. Life is NOT promised to us through today, but some just don't get it.
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