Traffic Fatalities Nationwide Increased in 2012

Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Jan 08, 2014 in Auto Accidents

Although data on traffic accident fatalities are gathered every day, the final tally is not known until months after the New Year has already begun. The 2012 Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that highway deaths increased by more than 4 percent between 2011 and 2012.

The majority of the increase in fatalities occurred in the first quarter of 2012, between January and March. The rate of fatalities increased by more than 12 percent during that time period.

This is the first increase since 2005, however, highway deaths over the past five years do remain at historic lows. The number of fatalities in 2011 were at their lowest since 1949.

Other important statistics on auto accident fatalities include:

  • Pedestrian deaths incurred for the third year in a row, most of which occurred in urban areas, in the evening outside of intersections.
  • The number of fatal motorcycle accidents increased for the third year in a row as well.
  • The number of accidents involving drunk drivers increased by more than 4 percent in 2012, the majority of which involved drivers who had a blood alcohol concentration that was nearly double the legal limit.
  • Distracted driving accidents, fatal and injury-related, also increased between 2011 and 2012.

There were 13 states that had an overall reduction in traffic fatalities including Arizona and Utah. However, in Arizona the number of alcohol-related fatalities increased by more than 7 percent.

According to the most recent data for 2013, the number of fatalities in the first quarter are lower than those of 2012, however a yearly tally will not be known until late 2014 or early 2015.

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