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Car accident deaths spiked in 2016, yet again

In our last post, we talked about the seemingly infinite amount of risks out on the road. Anyone who is out on a street or highway -- may it be a pedestrian, a bicyclist, a motor vehicle driver, or otherwise -- needs to be aware of their surroundings and proceed with caution.

In that post, we also talked about how the annual number of motor vehicle fatalities have hovered in the 30,000s for the last decade. That is a statistic that is often heralded as being a dawning of a new safety age out on the roads. This is because from 1963 to 1991, the number of motor vehicle fatalities per year remained over 40,000 -- and was often above 50,000.

It wasn't until 1992 that the fatality rate dropped below 40,000, only for it to jump back above that number in 1993 and remain above 40,000 for the next 15 years. In 2008, it dipped below 40,000 and hasn't returned since.

So again: the last decade has been an improvement over previous eras of motor vehicle accidents and fatalities. But that improvement has been masked to a certain degree over the last two years. The fatality rate in motor vehicle accidents went up by 10.5 percent in 2015, and it jumped again in 2016 when 37,461 people died in car accidents. In 2014, only 32,744 people died in accidents.

The figures are trending in the wrong direction again, and we can only hope something changes soon.

Source: Wikipedia, "List of motor vehicle deaths in U.S. by year," Accessed Jan. 25, 2018

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