NHTSA: Traffic Deaths Increased in 2012
The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has just finished compiling data on traffic deaths in 2012—yes, we're six weeks away from 2014—and for the first time in years, fatalities have risen. But before you become alarmed, know that the 3.3 percent increase, or 33,561 total deaths, is a figure on par with levels in 1950, more than six decades ago. The majority of fatalities were motorcyclists and pedestrians, and—no surprise here—many of them involved alcohol. Also unsurprisingly, motorcyclists in states without universal helmet laws were ten times more likely to die. "Highway deaths claim more than 30,000 lives each year and while we've made substantial progress over the last 50 years, it's clear that we have much more work to do," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "As we look to the future, we must focus our efforts to tackle persistent and emerging issues that threaten the safety of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians across the nation." The number of people killed in distraction-affected crashes decreased slightly from 3,360 in 2011 to 3,328 in 2012. Meanwhile we've seen automakers continue to develop increasingly advanced safety systems, like the ones found on the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class that warn drivers of pedestrians on the road. And it's not just six-figure vehicles,; cars like the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class will also have this technology available. Source: NHTSA
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