Our sister site, AOL Autos, reports more people are dying in car accidents in the US than ever before. Fatalities jumped by 5.3 percent last year to 34,080 deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The increase is due in part to the fact that Americans are also driving more than ever before, covering 0.3-percent more miles in 2012 than 2011. NHTSA says that may be due to the fact that modern vehicles offer better fuel efficiency than before, and thus allow drivers to cover greater distances for the same money.
Motorcycle fatalities accounted for 14.7 percent of all traffic deaths, with 5,000 riders dying last year alone. The Governors Highway Association says many of those deaths could have been prevented with proper helmet laws. Right now, 31 states don't require riders to wear helmets. Pedestrian deaths also increased by 4 percent to 4,280, and deaths attributed to distracted driving jumped by 1.92 percent to 3,331 people.