The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has crunched the numbers, and its data says that 2012 was a deadlier year for US motorists than 2011, with a 3.3-percent increase in road fatalities. 33,561 people were killed, with much of the blame being placed on an unseasonably warm winter that put more people behind the wheel than usual. Although 1,082 more people were killed, 72 percent were killed during the first quarter of the year, when snow and cold weather often do their part to keep people off the streets, according to The Detroit News.

Lending credence to the fact that our cars are safer than ever, many of those killed were pedestrians or motorcyclists, with The Detroit News reporting that there was a 7.1-percent increase in motorcyclists killed in 2012, the third year of increases in a row.

There were improvements, though. Automotive News notes that there was a small drop in deaths associated with distracted driving, from 3,360 to 3,328, although 421,000 people – a 9-percent increase over 2011 – were injured due to distracted drivers. Despite all of this, though, 2012 road deaths are near a 60-year-low overall.

"Highway deaths claim more than 30,000 lives each year, and while we've made substantial progress over the past 50 years, it's clear that we have much more work to do," said US Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox.


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  • 53 Comments
      Dean Hammond
      • 1 Year Ago
      and yet apparently cars are safer than ever before.....expalnation seems relatively simple...drivers are either getting worse, or feel invincible with all the latest safety adds. Bottom line....driver education need improving and the distration of so called social media needs adressing....
        Israel Isassi
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dean Hammond
        it's not that the drivers feel invincible.. it's that they don't care if they die or kill someone else.
      over9000
      • 1 Year Ago
      safety systems don't prevent stupid drivers
      groingo
      • 1 Year Ago
      From the picture it is clear to see the problem is not the cars or drivers but the Jumping Trees, they just keep jumping right in front of the cars, guess now we'll have to get rid of all the trees for the sake of the innocent cars.
      Stinkyboy
      • 1 Year Ago
      people are driving too fast and have no knowledge of physics.
        brandon
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Stinkyboy
        What does a hard knowledge of physics have to do with it? More like driver training in this country has gotten worse.
          Stinkyboy
          • 1 Year Ago
          @brandon
          driver training is defensive driving. people who like to drive fast is offensive driving. offensive drivers need some knowledge of physics so they can drive better while driving like an a-hole. defensive drivers cause crashes because they are too busy defending and slamming their brakes, driving too slow in the fast lane and not using their signal while turning. offensive drivers drive fast to get a way from the defensive drivers. my balls itch.
          kqr
          • 1 Year Ago
          @brandon
          If you really don't know what physics - and geometry - have to do with driving, do us all a favor and don't drive.
        Steve Hatchel
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Stinkyboy
        I teach physics to middle schoolers. My two themes I weave through my entire unit are roller coaster physics, and the physics of transportation. Hopefully a little will sink in and when they are 16 driving their parents' 5500-pound Yukon they'll remember a little about inertia, momentum, and kinetic energy, and not kill me as I'm going to the gym. Who am I kidding, we're talking about teenagers here...
      CB
      • 1 Year Ago
      Of course the bureaucrat is going to say more work needs to be done. Who would say otherwise and jeopardize their job and/or finding?
      IBx27
      • 1 Year Ago
      Couldn't be morons browsing the web/checking email/updating facebook from their in-dash touchscreens, now could it?
      Teleny411
      • 1 Year Ago
      It amazes me how people stupid fast drive in snow. A guy was speeding around a curve, lost control and slammed into my friend. The idiot said he was driving fast because he thought he could do that with awd. He got cited for reckless driving,but nearly killed my friend. Idiots. Morons playing on their phones- I saw this fool who had been texting and drove way up into the woods and slammed into a tree. Speeding & texting: great combo! Then there are the idiots who drive like the crowded interstate is a racing video game, swerving in and out of lanes at 100mph. Maybe that self-driven car isn't so bad after all!
        jtav2002
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Teleny411
        People should have to take a test before getting a 4wd or AWD vehicle. I'm on my second truck with 4wd and I'm always getting passed by people going highway speeds on the highway with the snow covered road in their luxury SUV's. Back before I had 4wd I always got around just fine too meanwhile I'd almost always end up getting hit by people with SUV's driving too fast. People are clueless when it comes to these systems. Sure they get you moving from a stop, but once you're moving it's not doing a whole lot for you people seem to think it's going to help them stop faster or handle like they're on rails.
        BG
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Teleny411
        AWD is one of those mixed technological blessings. For responsible drivers, it is great. But it also allows morons to think they are invincible, with the result that they are far more reckless than they might have been 20 years ago without AWD. It also make dumb people think they can get by without snow tires because they don't understand that AWD does not help with the friction part of the equation (oh, oh, too technical).
      Israel Isassi
      • 1 Year Ago
      cars are safer. trucks are safer. motorcycles are safer. but the humans have hardly progressed. not enough people have the basics down such as respect for self and others, personal responsibility, appreciation of life, etc, etc. Stop lights exist because people are selfish and don't play well together.
      miketim1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tree 1 Car 0
      J P
      • 1 Year Ago
      > NHTSA says road fatalities up 3.3% in 2012 Not surprising. Idiot distracted drivers yapping on the phone or texting. I'm surprised the number figure isn't higher.
      gnvlscdt23f
      • 1 Year Ago
      From the looks of the car, I'm doubting the wreck was a fatal, unless it was a super high-speed crash. But the lack of damage aft the firewall makes that seem unlikely.
        colin.shark
        • 1 Year Ago
        @gnvlscdt23f
        It wasn't fatal. Some semi-drunk 19 year old ****** up and hit a tree.
      Steve Hatchel
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm not surprised about motorcycle fatalities being up 7%. Having owned several when I was younger I understand the thrill of riding, but most motorcycle riders I see these days are just idiots.
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