Driving on U.S. roads became more dangerous in 2016. Preliminary data from the National Safety Council shows more than 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes last year, a 6 percent increase from 2015.
- This was the first year more than 40,000 people have died in traffic accidents since 2007.
- According to The New York Times, 2015 and 2016 saw a 14 percent increase in traffic deaths, the largest two-year increase in more than half a century.
- In addition to deaths, an estimated 4.6 million people suffered serious injuries in car accidents last year. The total costs came to $432.5 billion, for motor vehicle deaths, injuries and property damages.
- In Massachusetts, 399 traffic deaths were reported in 2016, a 13 percent increase over the prior year (these are also preliminary figures).
The National Safety Council said lower gasoline prices and an improving economy may be helping to fuel the rise in traffic deaths. Others point to seat belt laws and texting while driving and other distracted driving behaviors.
If you drive, take to the roads safely. Follow the speed limit and make sure everyone in your family puts down their cell phone while driving.
Read our Article: Understanding and Buying Auto Insurance in Massachusetts
Until it happens to you, few people understand the costs associated with a car accident, and the toll on your physical health and emotional well-being. We hope you are never injured, but encourage you to read our article to protect yourself and your family.