According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), traffic-related fatalities are on the rise in Nevada, up 4% through August of 2016 over the same time period in 2015 (208 vs. 200). According to the National Safety Council, this increase is consistent with what is happening nationally, where Motor Vehicle Fatalities are up 9% through the first six months of 2016 over the same time period in 2015, and 18% higher than the same time period in 2014. An estimated 19,100 people have been killed on U.S. roads since January, and another 2.2 million seriously injured. The estimated cost of these deaths and injuries is $205 billion.
At this rate, annual deaths could exceed 40,000 fatalities this year for the first time in nine years, the council said. More than 35,000 people were killed on U.S. roads last year, making it the deadliest driving year on record since 2007, when 37,000 were killed.
While many factors may have contributed to the upward fatality increase, a strong economy and lower unemployment rates are contributing factors. Average gas prices have been lower by 16% than in 2015, resulting in more Americans driving more miles.
“Our complacency is killing us,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, the safety council’s president and CEO. “Americans should demand change to prioritize safety actions and protect ourselves from one of the leading causes of preventable death.”