Report: 40,000 highway fatalities in 2016

A new report from the National Safety Council shows some 40,000 people died on American roadways in 2016, making it the deadliest year since 2007.

NSC’s estimate of 40,200 fatalities is a 6 percent increase over 2015’s, and a 14 percent increase over 2014’s. That’s the the largest two-year jump in 53 years, NSC says. The group also estimates there were 1.25 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled last year, a 3 percent increase over 2015.

Texas, California and Florida were the top three states for traffic fatalities in 2016, each with more than 3,000 fatalities, according to NSC’s data.

NSC says 2016’s numbers are provisional and could change as more data becomes available.

The report gave no indication as to how many of the 40,200 fatalities were a result of an accident involving a truck.

Additionally, the results of a driver safety survey conducted by the NSC found:

  • 96 percent of respondents listed drunk driving and distracted driving as major or minor safety concerns
  • 64 percent of drivers surveyed are comfortable speeding
  • 47 percent are comfortable texting either by voice or manual entry while driving
  • 13 percent are comfortable driving while under the influence of either recreational or medicinal marijuana
  • 10 percent were comfortable driving while impaired by alcohol

To combat the recent uptick in traffic fatalities, NSC lists several recommendations to cut down on accidents:

  • mandatory ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers
  • using automated enforcement to catch speeders
  • extend laws banning cell phone use (including hands-free) to all drivers and more.