The U.S. Department of Transportation has released its statistics on traffic fatalities for 2016, and they're not good. Overall fatalities increased by 5.6 percent from 35,485 in 2015 to 37,461 in 2016. This means 2016 was the deadliest year on the road since 2007, when fatalities totaled 41,259. Some of the increase may be due in part to the greater number of miles driven, which jumped 2.2 percent from 2015 to 2016. But even with the increase in travel, 2016 came out worse with an increased number of deaths per million miles traveled, from 1.15 in 2015 to 1.18 in 2016.

The increase in fatalities was generally across the board. All types of light-duty passenger vehicles, including motorcycles saw increases in deaths from as little as a 1.5-percent increase for pickup trucks to as high as 8.4 percent for vans. More pedestrians and cyclists died, too, with increases of 9 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively. Drunk driving-related deaths also rose by 1.7 percent, while fatal accidents involving senior drivers over the age of 65 increased by 8.2 percent.

There is some good news, though. Seat belt usage is at its highest ever, with 90.1 percent of vehicle occupants using them. And although drunk driving fatalities were up, distracted and drowsy driving deaths were down. The distracted driving number dropped by 2.2 percent while the drowsy driving number dipped 3.5 percent. Also, the increase in traffic deaths between 2015 and 2016 was notably less than the increase between 2014 and 2015, which was a jump of 8.6 percent For additional details from the DOT's study, check out its official page where more documents breaking down all the statistics can be found.

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