• U.S. Traffic Fatalities Experience Surge in 2015
  • February 22, 2016
  • Law Firm: Sutherland Asbill Brennan LLP - Washington Office
  • The National Safety Council (NSC), an organization that tracks traffic deaths in the United States, recently released statistics showing a surge in traffic deaths last year. The NSC’s data indicates 2015 experienced the largest percentage increase in highway fatalities in the last 50 years. 38,300 people died on U.S. roads in 2015, and approximately 4.4 million others were involved in accidents that required medical attention. These figures represent an 8 percent increase in highway fatalities compared to the previous year. The NSC attributes the increase primarily to the improving economy and falling gas prices that have led to more driving. For reference, traffic fatalities declined 9 percent in 2008, as the recession began and gas prices were high. Although the total number of fatalities increased, some states, including New Mexico, Rhode Island and Alaska, actually reported declining fatalities in 2015. The total cost of traffic accidents, including fatal and not fatal accidents, is estimated at $421.1 billion in 2015.